The Master List of 1400 + Words and Phrases To Avoid In Your Writing 


One of my favorite writing quotes is “Good writing is just bad writing well edited.” 

This post is about editing well.

In any peice of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction or whatever category that 7th grade paper on your summer vacation falls into, there are words and phrases that weaken, flatten and all but destroy the power of prose. 

This post is about those words. 

I’ve even made a few categories below in case you want to jump to “words to avoid” in a specific type of writing. 

My hope is that this list of words and links to over 1400 words and phrases supports your growth as a writer. 

How To Use This Master List

  • Review the list before your writing session
  • Review this list after your session 
  • When editing (you can use the Search & Find tool in Microsoft Word)
  • Remember that the words you use or don’t use depends largely on context. When writing Internal thoughts or dialogue, for example, most if not all of these words and phrases are fair game. 

Without doubt, there is repetition in this list. That will only help those pesky words stick in your mind and not on the page.

Selected Words & Phrases from The List of Links Below

Suddenly
In order to
Started
Really
That
Totally
Completely
Absolutely
Down
Up
Stuff
Things
In terms of
The fact that
In Actual Fact
Was
Is
Part and parcel
When all is said and done
Merely
Nearly
So
About
Almost
Got
Amazing
Wonderful
I feel that (this is a thought not a feeling)
I feel like (same here)
First created
Next
Then
Turned
Began
Really
Me
A lot
A little
Sort of
Kind of
Used to
Fail
Wrong
Mistake
One of
Some
Sometimes
Somewhat
Honestly
Maybe
Went
Irregardless
Quite

Types of Words To Avoid Like the Plague

  1. Cliches 
  2. Infinitives (to run)
  3. Passive
  4. Vague
  5. Repetitive 

Root out hundreds more words in the following links. I’ve also included my short list of banned words below.

Any Writing

8 Words to Seek and Destroy In Your Writing 

Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately 

Weak Words

Clumsy Phrases to Avoid

1,000 + Overused Words 

Fiction

Are These Filter Words Weakening Your Fiction?

2 Stammer Verbs 

Words to Kill

Words to Avoid in Novel Writing 

Academic Writing

Words to Avoid in Academic Writing

Taboo Words in Academic Writing 

My Personal Short List of Words & Phrases to Avoid

  • Should
  • Have to
  • It’s a fact 
  • Need to
  • All 
  • Everyone 

Avoid these words in your writing to stand out, break out and write amazing works that live on forever.

For another blog post on words writers should avoid, check out this one

Get your free book on designing bestseller titles. 

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Christopher Kokoski is a speaker, trainer and author of Wicker Hollow and the Past Lives novel series.

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Posted in Blog, books, creativity, screenwriting, Uncategorized, writer, Writing
3 comments on “The Master List of 1400 + Words and Phrases To Avoid In Your Writing 
  1. averytingle says:

    This is a great list. Happened across it with the #MondayBlogs hashtag. That KS for sharing.

  2. […] The Master List of 1400 + Words and Phrases To Avoid In Your Writing  […]

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