Tips & Tools for cutting “Crutch” or “Echo” words

Recently, I blogged about finding and eliminating “crutch” words in my writing. Sharla Rae calls these “Echo” words. In her blog post today at Writers In The Storm, she lists the most common Echo words along with tips for finding and getting rid of them. She’s found a couple of useful websites for finding the problems in your own writing.  

Here’s the intro to her blog. Hop on over and read the rest.


What is an “Echo?” Tips To Axe These Repeat Offenders

By Sharla Rae

One of the things we’ve discussed in our critique meetings is the tendency all writers have to repeat certain words and phrases. “Echoes” is a term I’ve heard applied to frequently repeated words.

Read your chapter out loud, and that’s exactly what they sound like.

Common Causes of Echoes:

  • Using lame and boring “to be” verbs. When used, they often produce not only echoes but also wordy constructions.
  • Many echoes are subject oriented. For example, let’s say that in one chapter a wagon plays a big part in the action. Echoing “wagon” may be your repeated offense. Subject oriented words are sneaky. At first, they seem absolutely necessary. A closer inspection proves otherwise.

Helpful Echo-Zapping Sites



  1. Thanks, Carol! Sharla’s post was very helpful. Some excellent resources shared.

    • Carol Bodensteiner says:

      You’re welcome, Sherrey. Sharla’s post was so content rich, I was excited to share it.

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