Beware ‘Fiddly’ Words.

I literally sighed before I began writing this.

Do you know why?

Because I am a common offender of over using ‘fiddly’ words.

What are fiddly words – I hear you ask?

Words that make the most normal sentence flowery.

Here are my examples:

– something like

– as if

– almost as if/ like

– seemed

– without/not quite

They are terms which literally add nothing to the text but word count.

As mentioned before, I am a huge offender at adding in ‘fiddly’ words. And why? Because often they feel as though they flourish the text, that they add to it, make it nicer to read.

This is true – when used appropriately. Other times it creates an enormous vagueness to the script which can get clunky and irritating.

Here’s the thing. Sometimes we need to just get to the damn point. As an author it is important to understand the balance of language techniques, sometimes dwelling other times just getting on with it.

Because I am obviously speaking to myself here, this is my solution:

Know the impact you want to have.

If you’re writing a piece that you want to be hard hitting, to smack the reader in the fact and go ‘HERE. IT. IS’ then get to the point.

If you’re writing a piece which is more sensitive, then be gentle about it, you can be vague but again this is all about balance, because occasionally in these more sensitive bits a good hard hitting line can really win an audience over.

If you’re anything like me this has served as a timely reminder to balance your script well.

Sometimes smack people in the face, other times, use the ‘fiddly’ words

As Captain Planet said: ‘The power is yours.’


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