Growing Pains…Avoiding Non-Sense Words

I use non-sense words here all the time. I find this to be a fairly informal writing forum. When I am writing a short story or novelette, I need to keep in mind some of the words I use may be frowned upon.

I visualize editors around the literary world cringing as they read manuscripts with the words ‘literally’ and ‘totally’ or the excessive use of italics (okay, the italics aren’t considered a forbidden word, but editors definitely don’t like them).

A Literal Epidemic of Crutch Words lists many unacceptable words that new writers may find helpful. I will be honest. I use some in dialogue, at times, to show personality of my characters. I would caution you to use them sparingly, if at all. At times the reader may lose interest if used too often. A good author may lose credit with their audience and the readers may consider you sophomoric.

We are all learning and finding our voice, you do what feels right. My suggestions are not your style. I use italics more often than most should. Many claim italics are hard to read. I don’t see how that is, I use it for my protagonists inner thoughts.

I like to break the rules, maybe you do too. I think sticking to all the rules makes for a boring read. At times I catch the rules that are broken, I enjoy finding broken rules. Other times I can’t stand catching poor grammar and not reading the story. Good luck with your writing and next article we will discuss gestures and how they can be just as important as dialogue.

Stay fabulous, keep writing.

Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war. - Donald Trump

Robyn Branick


Robbie Ellie


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