Monday, April 28, 2014


Greetings, blogsters. Hope you had a great weekend. Last week we talked about filters this week: fillers. Fillers are words that take up space without necessarily adding to the story. Sometimes you need them sometimes you don't. Rule of thumb: if it's necessary to the meaning of the sentence leave it in, if not take it out. There's all kinds of fillers.At the head of my list is that. When I was doing a word check on my manuscript I found I'd used really 38 times, while 32, had 75, and that...over 500. Even when I cut it I still had 400 left. Do you find there's a word that shows up frequently in your manuscripts? Is it a filler?
Below are some examples of fillers and when you can do without them.

June said THAT she was sick.
June said she was sick.

It's not REALLY your secret to share.
It's not your secret to share.

SO are you going out with me on the boat?
Are you going out with me on the boat?

I muster what LITTLE patience I have left.
I muster what patience I have left.

WHICH to be perfectly honest, spending time with you doesn't help.
To be perfectly honest, spending time with you doesn't help.

His craggy features harden AND the hand on his iced tea glass tightens.
His craggy features harden. The hand on his iced tea glass tightens.

You can go BUT call me when you get there.
You can go. Call me when you get there.

He grabs me BY the shoulder and yanks.
He grabs my shoulder and yanks.

That's ABOUT as clear as I can make it.
That's as clear as I can make it.

I go straight down FOR several feet
I go straight down several feet.

Why can't he JUST leave me alone?
Why can't he leave me alone?


  1. There are a few times when I leave them in for effect, or maybe just for being umm lazy lol

  2. Oh yeah, editing means yanking out all of those fillers.

  3. Great stuff, Sandra! Informative!

  4. I love this post, Sandra. I always try to be careful when using the words "which" and "that." "That" is such an easy part of the English language and is often unnecessary when it comes to our writing.

  5. Hey Pat, I know what you mean. I've got an attachment to just and even when it's unnecessary I like to use it.

  6. Hi Robin, It's least for me:)

  7. Hi Gina,
    I have a plethora of fillers I have to watch out for:)

  8. I tend to gather different ones for each manuscript and use and editing program to weed them out.