[ Executive summary: avoid overusing the words on the 2nd bulleted list. 🙂 ]
It doesn’t matter if we are authoring a technical manual, non-fiction book on X process, or a heartfelt tribute to a best friend.
Lacing our work with unnecessary ‘filler’ words can ruin a reader’s experience and our reputation, kill our editing budget, and trash our project’s timeline.
[QW12] Kathie’s ‘7 deadlies’: words to avoid in projects
When an editor calculates your project estimate, they’ll usually ask for an electronic copy of your entire file.
This allows them to
- Get a general idea of the document’s completeness.
- Randomly select a few pages for review.
- Look for costly items hidden within the text.
I start with the third bullet point, using my ‘7 deadly words’ list as a first-run-through checklist.
These words can kill a project’s budget and timeline:
- That (usually the worst offender)
My seven ‘deadlies’ are rarely-needed words, and your editor will probably have a similar list.
Make sure you hire someone who will read every word in your document.
They won’t skim, scan, or have software check it for them.
Reading and fixing issues takes time, so budget the time for it.
I hope you found this Quick Win helpful.
All good editors read what you write instead of clicking the “Go” button on a glorified spell-checker and billing you.
Beware those who promise “30,000 words in 24-hours! Only $29.95!”
You’re probably paying for a button click.
Here’s a fun article where – yep! – IIIIII get caught using a ‘deadly’ word! Click here to enjoy.
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