Let Em Go

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” 

-Stephen King

As of late I’ve been a bit obsessed with dictation. This is especially true when it comes to my speech-recognition software. I love to hear myself read what I wrote down and make corrections on the fly. No more stumbling over words that don’t belong but feel pretty on that first go around. In doing this though I find there are words I fall to more often than not. So hopefully in sharing those words and phrases you’ll avoid the same pitfalls in your manuscript. Of course these words don’t have to be completely taken out, try to keep them to minimum however.



When describing a series of events, the word finally indicates laziness on the part of the writer. Finally implies an exhaustion or distaste for the series.

have got

You have something, without the got.

often / frequently

The readers have unique opinions of what constitutes frequently or often. Such measures of time are matters of perspective.


Nothing real is perfect. However, one makes exceptions for perfect scores, perfect angles, and the perfect tense of verbs.


I have a hard time removing “just,” especially in dialogue. But for the most part, you don’t need it, and too many can make your dialogue or prose repetitive.

These are a few of the countless errors I’ve made. Hopefully you won’t fall into the same traps. So until next time have a writeous day!

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.

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