Writing’s hard work. Ask any writer. Good writing is harder. Sometimes weasel words can slip in.
Weasel words are “favorite” words that pop up when a writer is being lazy or rushing.
I first heard the term in a workshop with Margie Lawson. She expanded weasel words to include phrases, overused word, throw-away words, clichés and opinion words that might draw a reader from the story.
Her solution is to keep a personal weasel word list for every manuscript and when you do the edits, remove the weasels.
Grammarly created this infographic of frequently overused words to help writers eradicate such words. Margie and I would call it a weasel word list.
It’s an interesting question.
Female writers of the past have used male or ambiguous pennames to disguise their gender. Women like Mary Ann Evans, who used the pen name George Elliot and the Brontë Sisters, who wrote as Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell.
These days, women choose gender-neutral pen names in the hopes of increasing book sales and gaining book reviews. Consider these two NYT best sellers:
~ Joanne “Jo” Rowling chose to use J.K. Rowling for her Harry Potter series and wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling as Robert Galbraith.
~Nora Roberts, the remarkably prolific author who writes in two genres, selected the gender-neutral pen name J.D. Robb for her mystery novels.
Should women writers bother with pen names? Not according to a recent poll done by Grammarly.
As the infographic below shows 59% of the 3,000 respondents believe women are superior writers.
The poll questions centered on perceived differences in writing technique and quality based on gender. Answers indicate readers believe:
- Male authors “get to the point,” whereas female writers were more likely to focus on “character development.”
- women write about people as opposed to things
- women use long, wordy sentences while men write short, concise sentences
Check out the full infographic below:
I agree with Grammarly’s poll results. Probably because I’m a female author who writes character-driven love stories.
What about you? Do you believe women are better writers than men?