Tag Archives: bad phrases

Bad Phrases in Writing 4: Personal Tics

It’s been quite some time since I did a Bad Phrases in Writing post. So let’s talk about some. Specifically, let’s talk about you. Grab something you’ve written that’s around 750–1,000 words. Raw text, not edited. Lay it out in two-column format, print it out, and hand it to a friend who is good at catching

Bad Phrases in Writing 3: Reflexive Pronouns

Today, let’s talk about a particular crime against English: the reflexive pronoun. If you aren’t sure what that means: The characters find themselves trapped. Each ally within 10 meters (including yourself) gain a bonus to Ninjaification. He was besides himself with anguish. Most of the time, this is just shitty faux-Tolkien[1] writing. Happens often in

Bad Phrases in Writing 2: Adverbs!

To follow from last time I did this, let’s talk about words to strike from writing. Many writing books worth their salt will tell you to kill adverbs, and with good reason: they make it easy to suck as a writer, as they open the door to laziness. Let’s go with a few to illustrate:

Bad Phrases in Writing, Round 1

When I’m working with writers, I find a number of phrases that I immediately strike because, to be frank, they’re bad phrases. Some just take up unnecessary space on the page and time if read aloud. Others are subtly insulting. And in all cases, they don’t actually add to what’s being said. The following is