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WORD MITES: Inside the Chaotic Mind of Halo Scot - Issue #6

Halo Scot
Halo Scot
Welcome back, breachlings.

Filler Words
Filler words are my Helen of Troy: stunning, alluring, married to a judgmental tyrant. Though I know they’ll wreak havoc in my work, they seduce and tempt me. I’m unable to let these go, like those deranged seagulls from Nemo screaming “MINE!” while doing nothing to advance the plot.
When I edited Echoes of Blood, a ton of these word mites burrowed into my prose. I deleted something like 20,000 filler words alone (damn you, Helen of Troy). So, in order to avoid another Trojan War, I made a list to purge after drafting. I then attack my manuscript with merciless deletion and ruthless mocking of myself while armed with a beer, a fistful of jelly beans, and a bucket of nachos to stave off self-deprecation.
Everyone’s filler words (and crutch words) are different, and grammar is fluid, not prescriptive. I am NOT telling anyone how to write or edit, but if you’re like me and just can’t get enough justs, like totally, then maybe, perhaps, this could help. It’s also a great way to “auto edit,” to quantify the amorphous mass of creativity into something more structured. Making this list has saved me hours in the editing dungeon, so I figured I’d share it to aid you in some sharpened-toothbrush word-shanking.
Note that I don’t always delete all of the filler words, but I make sure there isn’t an egregious amount. For instance, I only use twelve scowls instead of two hundred…hypothetically…
The List of Doom
  • absolutely
  • actually
  • basically
  • begin
  • burn
  • certainly
  • chuckle
  • clench
  • coil
  • completely
  • croak
  • definitely
  • erupt
  • flare
  • freeze
  • frown
  • fully
  • gasp
  • glance
  • glare
  • grin
  • highly
  • just
  • laugh
  • manage
  • nod
  • only
  • possibly
  • probably
  • quirk
  • quite
  • rasp
  • really
  • roll
  • scowl
  • scream
  • seem
  • shake
  • shriek
  • sigh
  • simply
  • smile
  • smirk
  • start
  • stiffen
  • stifle
  • suddenly
  • tense
  • that
  • totally
  • truly
  • very
  • wink
Crutch Words Specific to Certain Manuscripts
It’s great (if tedious) practice to check each manuscript for unique crutches. Some books have crutch words specific to those stories. For instance, I had to severely wean “flesh,” “pulp,” and “meat” from I Will Kill You…because I’m an awful person with a barbaric imagination. “Blood” and “spurt” were also quite rampant…
Recent Reads
This has been a busy month, full of “Life” and “Things,” so I haven’t gotten to read as much as I would like. However, I inhaled Darling, there are wolves in the woods by L.V Russell and highly recommend this dark fae delight!
Podcasts/Channels to Stalk
If you’d like a free ARC of I Will Kill You (out 8/8/22), I am still recruiting for Team Corpse, the elite members of my Murder Court. We like fresh meat…or corpse meat…actually, we’re not picky.
Vote for Chaos
If you’d like to encourage my chaos, please visit the TCK voting page, tab to page 9, scroll to the bottom, and click on I Will Kill You. You might need to visit the site in regular (not incognito) mode on a desktop.
Aggressive Love
Don’t give up. Refuse to fail. Writing is a ruthless business, but someone needs your stories, and you will find them.
Lots of love & chaos,
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Halo Scot
Halo Scot @halo_scot

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