Banned Words

These are some words you should try to avoid using, and some words you can use instead!

See/Saw — observe, inspect, notice, view, discern, distinguish, examine, recognize, regard

Say/Said — state, assert, claim, announce

Like/Liked — enjoy, relish, savor, treasure, value

Go/Went — travel, drive, journey, tour, move, advance, leave, depart, approach, withdraw, continue, prosper

Get/Got — obtain, acquire, solicit, seize

Be (as main verb) — appear, remain, stay, become, consist

Sort Of — moderately, rather, slightly, somewhat, to a degree, more or less

Have/Has/Had (as main verb) — accept, acquire, admit, bear, carry, gain, hold, include, keep, land, obtain, occupy, own, pick up, possess, procure, receive, retain, secure, take, take in

Random — arbitrary, casual, aimless, fluke, odd, purposeless, stray, unpremeditated, desultory, incidental, indiscriminate, irregular, unconsidered


2 thoughts on “Banned Words

  1. Good list. The choice really depends on the level of language and situation/context – casual, semi-formal, formal, elevated usage. It is a useful guideline for establishes tone/mood, setting & character.

    One of the problems I have with many current fantasy writing, is the use of contemporary vernacular by characters or narrator when the setting & characters are not contemporary. Takes you out of the imagined world.

    The struggle for new writers is how to emulate the quality of language found in classic fantasy narratives, while adapting it to a pace/rhythm that flows more naturally to the modern ear.


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