One step to fine tuning your writing is to figure out what words you rely on when you don’t know what else to say, find them in your writing and eliminate them. Here are three common ones that I have seen in writing:
- Of course – There is nothing intrinsically wrong with using the words “of course” in your writing unless, of course, they become so prevalent as to interrupt the flow of your writing. If you end up interrupting the flow of things, you may lose your readers. Losing your readers means that your message won’t be received by as many people. So you should, of course, use these words sparingly.
- Literally – This one can be tough. There is literally no need for this in 99% of instances where it is used. Chances are if you’re writing about something, you literally believe it to be true. It already is literal. There is no need to continue to announce it.
- Such as – You may recognize this one from a famous Miss Teen USA clip. I personally cannot get enough of this hilarity, such as when the girl talks about “US Americans” and such as the fact that “some Americans…uh…don’t have maps.” Unfortunately for Miss Teen South Carolina 2007, this clip does little to dispel the stereotypes of pageant girls. Fortunately for you, there is something to be learned from her missteps.
Poor Miss Teen South Carolina (Caitlin Upton) didn't have the benefit of being able to write down her statement and see how silly it looks/sounds. Anyone listening to her response and having even the slightest knowledge of the English language would be appalled. That’s why I highly recommend reading your writing out loud. By verbalizing the text, you will be able to hear things that are repetitive and may not sound as good as when you wrote them.
Of course, you literally could just such as ignore my advice…