Seven Deadly Qualifiers that Weaken Fiction

One thing I do when I edit or reread my story before I submit it,  is to use a search function to find and zap qualifiers in the manuscript.

Qualifiers are a pain.  They weaken sentence structure even though they are all but invisible.   Okay, sometimes I admit you need a qualifier, and having one in dialog isn’t the kiss of death.  Go ahead and listen to the way people speak.  They use LOTS of qualifiers in their speech.  But what works in real life doesn’t always work in fiction, and you have to be careful when using them in a short story.

Below is a list of qualifiers I search for when I’m finished with a manuscript:

Very
Rather
Just
Quite
Really (This one is truly insidious. Remove it whenever possible)
Still
Almost

There are many others, like “Seem” which I see a lot even from professional writers. But these are the seven I always search for. You should too if you want your fiction to be taken seriously.  I really mean it! 😛

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