I know this advice won't be groundbreaking but I thought some beginner friendly advice for writers like myself wouldn't hurt.

I write on Word and whilst it's not the best software it is where I'm comfortable. I have a folder dedicated to 'works in progress' and another for what I'm working on.

I decided to go back and look at some of my older stuff from a few years ago and thought it would be interesting to copy and paste a chapter into a new document, rewrite it with my current experience and then compare.

There were three words repeated over and over that were doing my head in:

  1. Very

  2. Less

  3. More

So I went through the chapter and decided before I changed anything radical I would replace these words with something better. Here's some examples for each word:

'It was looking more and more unlikely that he was going to make it in to work on time' to:

'It seemed incredibly unlikely he would make it to work on time'

'He had never felt less of a man' to:

'He was a shell of his former self'

'The morning light shone through his very thin blinds' to:

'The morning light glared through the paper-thin blinds'

'He noted, however, this car would cost him more despite being in worse shape' to:

'He noted that this car was a higher price than the others despite being in worse condition'

Result? Nothing crazy, but I feel like I've captured the protagonist's emotions, the tone and atmosphere better. The bottom line is that if I have to say something is 'very good' then I'm not doing an adequate job of showing why.

Read:  Writing a character with a mental disability

For those who really are beginner and are starting from scratch, feel free to invest in a thesaurus! There's no need to go overboard and make everything an adverb but it is useful to familiarise yourself with words and what they mean. Knowing something isn't just 'very lovely' but ethereal does something for atmosphere that very, less and more simply can't.

Source: reddit post


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