Editing is a very important part of the writing process. Asides the fact that errors, omissions and wrongly used words can make the break the reading process of your audience, it can also completely reduce the quality of your work. However, beyond the normal editing for mistakes or to confirm facts, there is a need to crop our irrelevant words. English language is replete with phrases that can be summarized into single words; it also has words that when removed would not change the overall relevance of the sentence. Rather, it would make it read better and more professional. These words are known to make the reading process monotonous and lengthy. If you are editing a manuscript for your novel, it is even more important that you do as much as possible to cut them out to ease the process of storytelling. Other reasons to cut them out in your manuscript is to heighten wit, make your voice irresistible, and to ensure clarity.

“Brevity is the Soul of Wit”

Without any further explanation, here are some of the words to cut:
1) Just (Just do it = Do it)
2) That (He said that you should = He said you should)
3) Very (I am very sad = I am sad/unhappy)
4) Really (She really didn’t know = she didn’t know)
5) And then (And then, the girl fell = the girl fell)
6) Some (Shows vagueness; try to me specific)
7) Mostly, Basically, Actually, Totally, completely, absolutely, literally (and most ‘ly’ adverbs)
8) Quite (She is quite pretty = She is pretty) It either is or isn’t
9) You know (You know time is fleeting = time is fleeting)
10) Perhaps/maybe (Shows uncertainty)
11) Almost (Depending on the context, ‘almost’ could be irrelevant)
12) Seemed (She seemed okay = she was okay)
13) Only (Only God knows = God knows)
14) Somehow (Shows uncertainty)
15) Now (Now that time has sped = Time sped)

Note that context plays a big role in this. However, these words can be avoided. Remember, a single extra word, ruins all the fun.

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