Filler Words

Hello, Write Owls. Welcome to Day 20 of Grammar 110. Today we’re talking about filler words.

Filler words are words that aren’t necessary. I know you use them to increase your word count (or out of habit), but they don’t need to be in your narration. (Don’t worry; I’m plenty guilty of using them too.) Here’s a list of words you can typically cut from your writing. Note that you can’t always remove them. Make sure your sentence makes sense without these words before removing them. Some of these are words that you should replace rather than cut. What word is a better choice? It’s okay to have these words in your writing, especially dialogue. Just make sure they truly need to be there.

  • A little
  • Absolutely
  • Actually
  • Almost
  • Although
  • Appeared
  • Basically
  • Begin/began/begun
  • Certainly
  • Completely
  • Currently
  • Definitely
  • Even
  • Get/got
  • Here
  • However
  • Just
  • Kind of
  • Like (when not in similes)
  • Literally
  • Maybe
  • Most adverbs
  • Much
  • Nearly
  • Now
  • Only
  • Perhaps
  • Practically
  • Probably
  • Quite
  • Rather
  • Really
  • Seemed
  • Simply
  • Slightly
  • So (not the conjunction)
  • Somehow
  • Somewhat
  • Sort of
  • Start
  • Stuff
  • That
  • Then
  • There
  • Things
  • Though
  • Totally
  • Truly
  • Very
  • Virtually
  • Was/were

Those are words you should search for in your writing to see if they can be cut or replaced with better words. Doing this will make your writing more interesting and concise. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and I will answer them as a reply or in my Q&A on Saturday.

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