Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Dangers of Overindulgence

The Dangers of Overindulgence


A prescription for a lean, mean manuscript.

There are empty calories for people and there are empty calories for manuscripts. For people there are foods that only up the fat or sugar content while providing no nutrients. For manuscripts, there are words that add nothing to the vitality, exposition or description of a manuscript and should be eliminated -- or like chocolate, indulged in sparingly. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Good
  • Nice
  • Really
  • Totally, Completely
  • Very, Extremely
  • That, There
  • Just
  • Thing
  • Many, Few
  • Kind of
  • Have, Had, Get, Was, Is, Are, Were
  • Already
  • Almost
  • Then
  • Finally
  • Suddenly
  • A lot, Some
  • Felt, Feel
  • Big, Large, Small
  • Well
  • Like
The above list is an incomplete, generic list of words that are the potato chips of the writing world. Empty description, no nutritive value. I am certain you can add to this list. Eliminate or reduce their use.

In every genre, genre-specific words abound prompting the writer into over-indulgence. Since I write erotic romance here are some of my favorite over-indulgences: erotic, thrust, sensation, hot and, um, certain slang descriptions for the male and female genital area. Consumed sparingly, these words add clear description and atmosphere. Overused . . . okay, my writing puts on a few pounds and prompts my readers to point and giggle.

So make selective word choices and eliminate the empty calories. 

Chocolate is SEXY, if you're naked and swimming with Heidi Klum

What are your favorite empty words?

Next week: What did you say? Those pesky dialog tags.

Healthy writing! ~*~  Dr. Editor, Manuscript Doctor

“Dr. Editor” is also known as Patricia A. Knight, erotic romance author.

Hers To Command – June 4, 2013

Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas surrounded by her horses, dogs and the best man on the face of the earth – oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after dark.

I love to hear from my readers and can be reached at or Or send me an email at Check out my latest “Hunk of the Day,” book releases, contests and other fun stuff on my face book page:

If you enjoyed Hers To Command, look for Sophi DeLorion’s story, Hers To Choose, coming out in mid-July 2013 and Steffania Rickard’s tale, Hers To Cherish coming in early August, 2013.


  1. As with some other things, words are all in how you use them.

    1. Yes indeed! And there are many words that come to mind when I think of swimming through chocolate syrup with Heidi Klum.

      Many colorful words.