I Just Really Don’t Need These Words

Too many ThatsSo, I had a few moments over the last week when I wanted to work on the novel. I really did. It’s just that I’ve got as much work to do at 10pm as I had at 7am, and the baby is finally asleep, and I dunno… that draft is looking pretty brutal right now. I don’t want to use my brain energies. Thought typings. Logic writing. Words. Whatever.

What do?

Weeeeell, I found an editing task that would improve my writing without using any brain power whatsoever. I didn’t even find it using brainpower. I found it using my friend Googles. I found this: WEBSITE OF THINGS explaining that, in most instances, I can cut certain words from my writing without losing anything.

And I also found this: OTHER WEBSITE OF THINGS FOR NEXT TIME which tells me other stuff I can fix by simply Ctrl-F’ing for certain words.

I removed about four hundred instances of the the word just. Apparently I just over-use the absolute crap out of that word. I also removed a few hundred reallys, because do I really need that many reallys? Really? Very also got the chop. That is next on the hit-list, because that’s just ridiculous: 1346 THATS!? I’m going to get it down to 500, at the absolute most. So often the sentence could get along with simply removing the that, and other times a quick re-structuring is all that’s required. It’s as simple as that… I mean: It’s simple.

So, please let me know: what are some HURR DURR I FORGOT TO BRAIN things that you do when you want to work on your book without… you know, working on your book?

Would love to know, because I think I’m going to be needing a lot of these over the next few months…

Best regards,


About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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10 Responses to I Just Really Don’t Need These Words

  1. I don’t know if this qualifies as not using your brain, since you have to use your ears, but I used a program called Natural Reader (which has a free version and a paid version) and copied and pasted one chapter at a time for my last book. It was UNBELIEVABLE

    • (sorry, somehow hit a button that posted my comment without finishing it) how many mistakes I caught using that program! Yes, the voice is a little robotic, but that’s actually a good thing because mistakes and redundancies are caught more easily with the robotic voices.
      I’ll probably be investing in the paid version so I can get through the sloppy mess that is going to be my draft for Book 3 after I’m done with NaNoWriMo.

      • That’s a really good idea actually. I find that if I read my book myself then I stop too often, I can never just allow it to flow (and so I don’t know if the flow is good or not…). Will add it to the list! (which reminds me, I was going to make a list of useful writing links at some point).

        Thanks, mate!

  2. Rosslyn_Glasses says:

    I recently got a new program for writing my book besides Pages, and I have to copy and paste every single chapter of the book into the new program. Then I have to edit the text size, and all these other boring things that I could have less patience to do.

    But I went and did it anyways.

    Only to find the “Paste and Retain Style” button after almost 48 hours of doing nothing but fixing and editing.

  3. Oh, I’m a huge abuser of “just” and “that!” It’s just that, y’know … 😧

    When I’m feeling deprived in the brain cell department, I sometimes just delete all adverbs, all thoughts outside of dialogue and all dialogue tags that aren’t “said.” Then I read over when feeling perkier and find I rarely need to replace any of those things.

    It leaves my writing on the stark and emotionless side, but that’s something I already know I’ll have to work on later. In general though, I feel that less is more.

  4. Oh yeah, I probably could go through and delete a lot of thoughts outside of dialogue… and probably a lot of dialogue for that matter. I’ll have to be a bit careful not to cull too much, especially if it’s a reaction scene following a big fight or epic events. I love reading first person, and one of my favourite parts in other people’s books is the soliloquy/inner monologue stuff. If it’s a character I like, then I want to hear what they’re thinking.

    Thanks! And yes, less is more, for sure. And that’s just that, Really. 😉

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