Even if you don't see those words, trust me, the reader will.
Of course, the only way to get rid of those pesky creatures is to be aware of them. No easy task. This is where a good critique partner comes in, a fresh pair of eyes that will notice your crutch words when they leap off the page for the fourth time on page one - and they'll call you on it by highlighting it every single time you use it! Wow, talk about an eye-opener...all those colorful splotches can definitely make a girl slap her forehead.
Don't have a critique partner or want to give that MS another round of impartial eyes to find those pesky offenders? Give this free program a try: Autocrit.com
The important thing is to catch those words before you send it off to an agent, an editor or it gets self-published. We all want our readers to fall in love with our stories, not be counting how many times you used a particular word in the first three pages.
Some of the most common crutch words are:
Another crutch word is a word that is unique. A word that the author for whatever reason latches onto in a manuscript and uses it repeatedly. It's that word that was intriguing the first time we see it on the page, but by the fifth time it's used, we're now counting and wondering when the author is going to find a different word. Yeah, we've all seen that and wondered why no editor flagged it.
Do you KNOW your crutch word? What's your technique for getting rid of them? Inquiring minds here at Passionate Critters want to know!