Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Quick take: Skip the “took a”

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Feb• 10•16

owlLike many editors I’ve collected my own gaggle of words and phrases that I find annoying. I can become curmudgeonly if I spot certain words in a manuscript, especially when they’re abused and appear over and over. Now, I realize that taste and preference are highly subjective and chances are I might stand alone on this  peeve, but writers you do not need to append “took a” and “take a”  to  verbs. As in:

Took a step

Took a bite/drink/sip/gulp/swallow

Took a breath

Took a swipe

People and characters can simply step, drink,sip, gulp, swallow, and breathe.

And by the way “took a deep breath” is probably the most abused cliche in writerdom.

Keep writing, keep dreaming, have heart and write in the active voice.

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