Common sense should tell us when we can or can’t use certain words. I’ll bet your inner voice will caution you when you’ve typed a ‘dirty word’ and your character woudn’t have said it. Know your genre and what words aren’t allow. A lack of knowledge on your part will sabatage your career?
Certain magazines and publishers don’t allow many common-place words such as ‘edgy,’ ‘workaholic,’ or even ‘super-woman.’ Ask your editor if he/she has a ‘no-words’ list – they’re usually quite vocal about it.
We’re a society of jargon, empty words, rambling on, and endless clichés. It’s an inevitable way to get your manuscript tossed in the rejection pile.
Some tips to follow – that just might keep an editor from rejecting your book?
- Unless it’s pivitol for your character – avoid slang altogether. Think about it, slang is timely and will only date your book.
- Pay attention to the words you use – and be sure to use the correct one.
- We’ve heard this said many times – because it’s true – adjectives and adverbs are empty words, don’t use them.
- If you can cut a word(s) and maintain the meaning of the sentence – do it.
- Best tip I can give you – cut all clichés from your work. You might think they sound clever, but your reader won’t.