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“Things” and “stuff” wormed their way into my novel when I wasn’t looking, so I bring you two more words easily exorcised from your writing are:

 “Thing” and “Stuff”

We discovered the overuse of the ubiquitous “that,” “got,” “went,” and “people.” We also slashed moldy verbs, adverbs, and intensifiers from our work. If you missed these posts, click on the highlighted words above.

When I read an article saying to nuke these words from my writing, with smug self-righteousness I thought, “Those words aren’t a problem for articulate me!”

WRONG-O. I searched my manuscript and sure enough, 32 “things” and 8 “stuffs” were lurking in the corners.

Here are two examples:

My mom unloaded my things from the car.

 What things?

I let my mom unload my (pick your favorite)

 1. twelve hamster cages

2. melted Krispie-Kreme Donuts

3. stiletto high-heels

 . . . from the car.


Mom hauled my stuff to the bedroom.

 What stuff?

Mom hauled my (pick your favorite)

1. ThighMaster

2. complete collection of Donny and Marie albums

3. unicycle, fake red nose, and clown shoes

 . . . to the bedroom

Again, let me know what you discover. I find comfort in numbers when I hear that other writers let words sneak in to their work. I’ll post about something fun tomorrow because if I find one more thing to edit out of my manuscript, the top of my head will come off.