Lisa Voisin


Several years ago, when I was working on The Watcher, I enrolled in Betsy Warland’s Vancouver Manuscript Intensive Solo program, where I had not one but two wonderful mentors working with me on my first book. One of them, A.M. Dellamonica, pointed out words I used far too often and advised me to find and rework instances of them. It’s not that any one word was bad, but when overused, these words can dull or weaken your prose.

I took her advice and found using this list to be one of the most helpful ways to strengthen and polish my writing. I started with this list on my own work, but as I became aware of these “crutch” words or phrases, I saw them in other people’s writing, so I shared what I learned with my critique partners. The words have varied for me over the years and they will vary for each writer…

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