Author: Felicia A. Sullivan

My Personal Peeves as an Editor, Part Two

  1. My Personal Peeves as an Editor, Part One
  2. My Personal Peeves as an Editor, Part Two

You can read part 1 right here!

Thanks again, Stuart Conover, for giving me an opportunity to actually WRITE instead of EDIT for a change.


At the risk of providing enough Author PSAs to eliminate myself from the editing process, I am expanding on my personal peeves.

The only words in any of my lists are ones that I see over and over again, and which now make me cringe when I see them, particularly when they are repeated throughout a manuscript.

Actually: This word actually has a place, just don’t actually overdo it.

Almost: Almost as annoying as “just” and “as”, “almost” is one of those words that is almost never necessary, especially when you use it almost to death.

Continued/Continuing/Continues:  When you continue to use this word, you continue to sound like you don’t know what to say. Another word that DOES have its place, when you continually continue to overuse it, you continue to ignore the other possible words you could use instead.

Felt/Heard/Saw:  Passive, passive, passive.  “He felt his face flush.”  “She heard herself say she was sorry.”  (What the what??)  “He saw she was following him.”

Nearly: See “almost”.  Nearly the same thing.

Small: This is a recent addition.  Not quite sure why it has surged in popularity/invisible usage so much, but it is annoying.  Search your WIP.  Delete most of them.

Watch/Watched:  You want to make me hurl?  Write “He/She watched as….”  That uses watch AND as, another peeve.  Guaranteed head explosion.

Open your WIPs, search for the words, rewrite, delete, or replace as many usages as you can.

Carry on, y’all.  Carry on.  Write your books. I call editor.  🙂