“Everyone has them – the overuse of “despite” to single out a point of difference, relying on “however” to get you through a sentence, the ubiquitous “meanwhile” that lets you slip effortlessly into a new paragraph. And each, used sparingly, is fine. But they are, in any case, editorial crutches, the things you depend on for support.”
Looking through a few blog posts and old reviews, I can see that I’m more than a little guilty of this myself. I seem to be especially for of “of course” and “however” – and probably a few others that aren’t quite so obvious (at least not to me as their writer).
I’m going to start watching out for these in novels now. But I wonder if they’re entirely a bad thing? If a writer has a ‘voice’ of their own (which all good writers are supposed to have, as far as I can tell), how much of that voice is a function of the words and phrases they instinctively use at certain points? And how much of it gets squashed by editors before we get a chance to see it? Pointless questions, perhaps, but it’s a Saturday and I’m in a pointless questions kind of mood.