10 Habits for Highly Effective Christian Writers
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Lisa’s Editing Checklist
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How to Spot a Weasel

Do a Search and Replace on any of the following weasel words. Some words may be integral to your characterization, scene or plot point. These are not hard and fast no-nos. Use your own discretion, common sense and caution in proceeding. Character dialogue is often enriched with a judicial crafting of such words.

Fluff Words and Other Redundancies
  • a bit
  • all
  • at (at once)
  • extremely, immediately or any “ly” word
  • up
  • a little
  • a lot
  • almost
  • anyway
  • back
  • began to/decided to/started to
  • down
  • even
  • finally (unless it really is finally)

  • just/just then
  • kind of/sort of
  • like
  • literally (you probably mean figuratively)
  • nearly
  • quite
  • rather
  • really
  • slightly
  • some
  • somewhat
  • suddenly
  • that
  • very
  • which
Telling Words and Other Passive Word Choices Instead of Showing
  • “to be”—is, are, was, were, had, have been
  • appeared
  • considered
  • felt
  • heard
  • imagined
  • -ing words
  • in order to
  • knew
  • looked
  • realized
  • saw
  • seemed
  • smelled
  • tasted
  • thought
  • wondered
  • would/should/could
Lisa Carter Author - For Writers