Some Words That You Write Are Really Unneeded #fillerwords

I don’t know about you, but as I’m writing, I do it without thinking about the word I place on the page. I find myself so concerned with keeping my word count within the range I want it, which is fine, but in the end, when I return to re-edit, I may be putting more work into the editing than I need. Chances are, you could be too!

Why, you ask?

Well, because you throw in a bunch of filler words. Most of us write the way we talk and a lot of us tend to write the same way in every book we pen. The content may be amazing, but when you read several books by one author, it can become a bit tedious.

I was in the process of editing my books and I searched the web for the term filler words, so I could know straight away what I needed to eliminate.

In case you’ve never heard the term before, a filler word is self-explanatory. It’s a word, which you place in a sentence more than others, and quite often, it’s unneeded.

I did a search for the word “that” in my document, and one of my books found it 900 times. I was shocked and amazed. Granted, “that” is sometimes needed, but certainly not 900 times.

You know how in reviews, readers talk about how tight an author’s writing is? This is a major part of the reason. As I re-read several sentences, I realized I was stumbling because of some of those pesky filler words. I re-read each sentence several times, with and without the filler word. If it didn’t change the meaning, I removed it. Next, after re-reading the paragraph I was working on, I was amazed at how smooth the writing ended.

The bottom line is, if you stumble over a sentence, then the majority of your readers will as well. Find out why. If it’s a filler word, remove it, provided the sentence still has the same meaning. If it doesn’t have the same meaning, you may need to make a note to rewrite it completely.

That was what I meant.” Check.

“I want to go to that store that you went to yesterday.” Delete

Maybe instead: “I want to go to that store you went to yesterday.”

I have to admit, for my first two books, I didn’t think of filler words, nor did I edit along the way. Granted, I’m a good editor, but it’s not easy editing your own work. But, while I recommend sending your hard work to an editor (fresh eyes never killed anybody), you can still make the process easy for you and the editor by taking care of certain words and phrases. My suggestion is to write a couple thousand words, then perform a search for each word after you’ve finished. Once the entire work is completed, go through and search again for these words in the case something was missed.

I sent my first two books to a new editor…paid this time, so I hope she did an amazing job for my readers. When she returned the changes to me, I went online and searched for filler words, then decided to post a blog on it, for your sake as well as mine.

I came across plenty of those pesky filler words I’ve been rambling about. There would be times where my lieutenant would say a dialogue such as “Has he shown any kind of anger temperament in the past?” Or the narrative would say “He looked around for any kind of weapon the killer may have left behind.” While it’s not awful that these phrases are within the pages of the book, they aren’t always needed. Especially when each character talk in the same manner. This is one way to round your characters and set them apart a bit more…remove certain phrases that pops up in more than one character.

Below, I’ve listed a few filler words. Comment on this post of other filler words I may have missed!

Just, Only, That, Then
Sort of, Kind of
Definitely, Certainly, Probably, Actually, Basically, Virtually, Totally, Completely, Absolutely, Literally, Really
Rather, Quite, Somewhat, Somehow: “Somehow, he knew he wouldn’t get any sleep.” “He didn’t quite believe what she was saying.”
Down, Up: “I sat down in the chair, on the verge of tears.”

Reasons You Didn’t Ask Of Why I Write

On my Facebook author page (click here to like: Angela Kay’s Books), I posted each day a reason why I write, in honor of NaNoWriMo. Here is the full compilation of those reasons:

  1. There’s something special about forgetting the messed up world we live in and diving into an alternate universe—whether it’s romance, mystery, sci-fi, etc—and solving their issues…we have more control.
  2. I think that if I didn’t write, God would drop a mountain on my head…pretty sure He wanted to when I came close to throwing in the towel of my debut, The Murder of Manny Grimes.
  3. I’m a dreamer, so why not write it on paper?
  4. People that prefer reading to writing want to escape just as badly as I do. So I write for my readers in hopes to enthrall their imagination.
  5. Through countless research on a certain topic, I am learning.
  6. I write a Christian/Inspirational blog in hopes of inspiring others by my journey in discovering Christ.
  7. I have an overactive imagination: so many ideas buzzing in my head…I can’t keep up.
  8. The thrill of having my hard work published for others to see is extraordinary.
  9. I meet interesting people with the same passion as me, whether they’re just realizing it or they’ve lived with it since childhood.
  10. It challenges me to be better than I was yesterday…I learn from mistakes and move on to the next issue.
  11. It’s a fun profession.Image result for national november writing month
  12. It teaches me patience and, boy, do I need it!
  13. I have the freedom to push the realism to the limit while keeping it believable.
  14. One story usually inspires another.
  15. To eliminate stress.
  16. In my free time, if I don’t read or write, I watch TV. Too much television is not always good for the soul.
  17. If I don’t write it, someone else might, or worse, no one else will.
  18. Writing is my legacy.
  19. I learn just how far I’m willing to push myself to work out a story.
  20. It’s my sense of being. If I couldn’t write, then I’m not sure what I can do in its place.
  21. I feel empowered.
  22. My characters are a part of me. It’s my duty to breathe life into them.
  23. It’s the only time I know who I am meant to be.
  24. I’ve been told by teachers and professors that I was a natural. It must be so since I’ve won awards in the past.
  25. I strive for originality.
  26. It allows room for diversity…romance, science fiction, mystery…etc.
  27. It’s my happy place.
  28. Whether I become successful or not, I have the satisfaction knowing that I’ve completed and published an entire novel.
  29. It’s the only clique I feel I belong—authors helping authors. And anyone knows me knows that I love helping people succeed.
  30. As with many writers, I have a lot to say.
What are YOUR reasons for writing? Share in the comments below!

The 5 Wonders of Wisdom for Mystery Writing – Guest Blog Post by Angela Kay

My first guest blog on bestselling author Dan Alatorre’s page! I feel incredibly lucky to have been noticed by him that he actually wanted me on his blog! It’s an amazing feeling to be published, but even more amazing to be making friends with fellow authors. Thanks, Dan, for giving me this opportunity!

Dan Alatorre

head shot your humble host

Meet Angela Kay as she stands on the cusp of her first novel coming out, The Murder of Manny Grimes, and lays out the important elements in writing for one of the biggest genres out there.


I’m looking forward to writing a mystery one day, and I know a lot of you are, too, so let’s learn a little about it from our friend.

Here’s Angela. 


I remember a few years ago, I met a writer at a conference. Her writing consists mainly of comedy through her fiction, nonfiction, and children books. After she and I got to chatting, I informed her that my genre of interest lies primarily in mysteries. She told me that she loved reading and watching mystery/thrillers, but she wished she knew how to write them. My thought was “surely someone who has perfected the craft of writing as she…

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