My Twisted Writer Brain…

Do You Know What Your Filler Words Are and How to Get Rid of Them?

What Are Filler Words?

According to Wikipedia, filler words are used in linguistics to signal a pause or that a person is finished speaking. Common words are ‘um’, ‘ah’, ‘like’, ‘basically’, ‘okay’, and ‘so’.

The above are common in speech, but rarely make it into our writing. They’re fillers. They hold little or no important content or substance but are there more out of habit or to fill gaps.

When I write, I don’t think. The words pour out as they see fit, but not all of them are necessary.

We’re all guilty of this no matter how experienced a writer you are. The key is to discover your filler words, be aware, and be willing to edit them out.

Here’s a List of Twenty Common Filler Words in Writing

Often when we read text we think of a sentence as being correct with the filler word, but you have to also realize that it works just as well without.

  • that
  • just
  • only
  • really
  • slightly
  • almost
  • seemed
  • perhaps
  • maybe
  • simply
  • somehow
  • absolutely
  • basically
  • actually
  • now
  • sort of
  • kind of
  • a little
  • very
  • so

Beware Redundancy

Redundancy is when you use more words than necessary to describe something.

Take a look at these examples. They say the same thing but one is more concise and tight.

This is from Writers Write

Filler Words Add Length but Not Substance

When you write you wouldn’t include every um and er in the text… and if you do, you best edit them out unless they have a good reason to stay.

Writing, unlike speaking, needs to be tighter, and with less of the unnecessary breaks that we do normally in speech. This will assist you in not only in keeping your word counts more accurate, but also tighten up the prose to make it flow better.

How to Use Find and Replace

Editing is so important in our writing. Did you see the Four Must Do Steps for Editing? If not, you should take a look.

For editing out your filler words use the Find and Replace tab on your computer.

Watch the short video below that I made. It’ll be a huge help.

Get rid of your filler words and this will make your writing more succinct and professional.

This is a short video I made on how to properly utilize the Find and Replace on your edits.
It’s simple once you get the hang of it. For many years I had no idea about the arrow magic! So I hope this helps.

I want to say that the Find and Replace is also helpful for changing up names, spelling, and grammatical error that you want to change. Good luck.

I sure hope this helped. Remember to leave a like and comment!

What’s your filler word that you over use the most? Mine is “that”…

Have a great day everyone. Follow below. Thank you.

12 thoughts on “Do You Know What Your Filler Words Are and How to Get Rid of Them?”

  1. Hi, Faye. I’ve been thinking about these fillers lately and have been working on avoiding them. So thanks for the list.

    1. Oh I hear ya… like and that…The thing is that if you’r using them in dialogue to define character then you’re like okay, like you know? πŸ˜‰… If they’re like my filler words, they sneak in and chub up the manuscript and leave me with more work…ugh. πŸ€“πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    1. lol…I like got it. Like, I totally like understood what you were like, trying to say…. Oh my …I could go on like that forever … dangerous. πŸ˜‚

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