by Nicola Auckland:
We all use them but what exactly are crutch words?
Crutch words slip into your writing when you’re back is turned. They are comfortable, familiar words your brain falls back on in everyday speech and which migrate, unbidden, to your creative writing.
Using crutch words is weakening your writing voice. Consciously or unconsciously, readers notice them. Be it a ‘lazy’ word or an oft repeated phrase, identifying and eliminating yours will improve your creative writing instantly.
What are Crutch Words?
Crutch words are filler words that when added to a sentence kill your ability to paint with your author voice. They are words you might use in everyday speech to give yourself thinking time (actually…) or to provide emphasis to what you’re saying (literally…). Unconsciously, these words can also slip into your writing but are often unnecessary. I like to think of these as my ‘lazy’ words. If you’re using them then chances are the sentence you’ve written isn’t strong enough to survive without it.