Posted by: anitanolan | June 13, 2012

Beginnings Bonanza

I was at the NJ SCBWI conference this past weekend. I conducted a four-hour intensive – Children’s Writing 101, that covered the basics on writing for children – formatting manuscripts, genres, typical word counts, finding an agent, submitting etc.

I also conducted a one-hour workshop called Beginnings Bonanza. In this, I received the first pages of attendees’ manuscripts, critiqued them in advance and then discussed the issues that came up on those pages.

Since people were in and out for critiques and pitches, etc., I promised I’d post some of the talk on my blog. While I’m not going to post anything from the first pages, I will list the issues. So let’s begin.

Overused & Weak/Useless Words

These are words that clutter the manuscript without really adding anything.


These words clutter the manuscript without adding anything.

Do you see a difference between the two sentences? I took out several words that don’t add anything, or very little, to the sentences.

If you use these words commonly in your writing, you might do a “find” for them and evaluate each one as they come up.

Overused/Weak/Useless Words

Just                         There                                Even
That                        Almost                             Rather
Very                        Nearly                              Over
It                             Rather                              Although
Really                       Even                                Start
Began                     Thing                                Quit


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