Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I have found my favorite word.

I didn't realize how often I use this word in my writing until my friend pointed it while she read my WIP Shadows Keep. I was, at the time, doing final edits on Altercation.

Once she pointed out how often I used "jerk," I paid more attention. And I was shocked at the sight of that four-letter word popping up all over my MS.

Sometimes it grew. I saw people who "jerked" their heads. I saw people "jerking" their bodies. "Jerking" other people.

I even saw people who were just plain "jerks."

There was even one time where it morphed into "jerky." I might even have seen a "jerkily."

After I did a "find and replace", removing most jerks, the word no longer made any sense to me. And I'm still trying to think up a better synonym than "yank."

What's your most abused word??? Is it easy to replace?

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DL Hammons said...

THAT! Once I realized what I was doing, it looked like warts all over my manuscript! UGH!! :)

Julie Daines said...

You know that website where you can enter in your entire manuscript and it generates a pretty word cloud based on the most frequently used words.

Well, I did that with my first novel (yikes!) and it was not pretty. My biggest words: looked and eyes. How awful is that!?

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

ha ha Julie, I've had a lot of looks and eyes also!

Aaron and Emily said...


Anonymous said...

I've search for "then." And for "look/looked." They come up a lot in my stuff. I don't think I've ever used jerk, but I like the sound of it! I'll have to find that word cloud site Julie Daines mentions!
Ann Best, Memoir Author of In the Mirror & Imprisoned

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Ann, so what do you use instead of jerk?? I need new words!

Elisa said...

cabrasafado. that's a good "jerk" substitute.

or maybe "dufus" :)

creep. idiot.

oh, wait, was I supposed to be coming up with substitutes for the verb? :)

Emailman said...

Being English, my spin on 'jerk' wouldn't make sense in your story lol and most of my substitutes aren't publishable :D

Keli said...

The latest: "just"--19 occurrences in 9 pages. Yikes!

Makes you wonder what's going on in your subconscious...

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