Crutch Words – the Word Police

The Word Police are on the trail of transgressors – are your words on their list?

Myths of the Mirror

wikimedia commons: keystone cops

The Word Police are back at it, rapping on my door and handing out citations. I plea-bargained my way out of jail by agreeing to publically share some of my past transgressions. The hope is that other wayward writers will take heed and avoid my mistakes. Crutch Words is the first in a series of writing tips from the coppers.

What are Crutch words?

Crutch words are words that add nothing to the meaning of a sentence. They’re hollow words that we automatically insert and frequently don’t notice. We want our writing to be tight and sharp. Too many crutch words will slow down the pace and dull the impact.

An interesting thing about crutch words is that we often have favorites. You may never use some words from the list below and use others more than you want to admit!

As a condition of my…

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The next stage of the current WIP has all my attention, so I'll point you in this direction (click on the pic to go to the Amazon preview):   The Old Woman & The Mad Horse ... A Thriller, Espionage, Rural Australia, Light Romance Reviews It was supposed to be a quiet place for a … Continue reading Blatant

Less Is More: A Poetic Paradox

How little adds a lot …

Learn Fun Facts


Image: NASA

In his Paradoxes in Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics (1986), Gábor J. Székely shared a paradox learned from his professor, Alfréd Rényi:

Since I started to deal with information theory I have often meditated upon the conciseness of poems; how can a single line of verse contain far more ‘information’ than a highly concise telegram of the same length. The surprising richness of meaning of literary works seems to be in contradiction with the laws of information theory. The key to this paradox is, I think, the notion of ‘resonance.’ The writer does not merely give us information, but also plays on the strings of the language with such virtuosity, that our mind, and even the subconscious self resonate. A poet can recall chains of ideas, emotions and memories with a well-turned word. In this sense, writing is magic.

The paradox described above is also known as the…

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How I Stay Creative

It’s your thing, dude, he says, and it really is – a lesson for us all, I think! Enjoy!

Slumdog Soldier

The lovely Mel Finch of Crushed Caramel has kindly nominated me for a 3.2.1 Quote Challenge! Originally created by Rory over at A Guy Called Bloke, today’s particular topic is ‘creativity’. Mel is a wonderful blogger who shares such heartfelt life experiences for readers to appreciate. Thanks Mel for considering me, and for getting me thinking about such a fascinating topic!


• Thank the Selector.

• Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

• Select 3 other bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there’s no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer whenever you choose.

This was one of my favourite inspirational quotes when putting my thoughts onto paper: believing that the stories I thought of were truly worth writing because I had real genuine faith that they would work. I could have thrown in…

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Book Review: Cage Dunn & Rose Brimson. The Old Woman & the Mad Horse – Case File for: the Big Three Mining Investigations

the feeling is humble … the joy is sublime …

Tao Talk

book cover


I just finished reading this book and want to write the review while it is fresh in my mind.

The genre for, “The Old Woman & the Mad Horse…”, by Cage Dunn and Rose Brimson, is action thriller. It takes place in the sparsely populated town of Brimpaen (that actually exists but is being used fictitiously here) in Australia. The story starts out pretty calmly, where Hella Solaris, a six-foot plus tall woman who is an “ex-operative” of a secret organization, plans on settling down from her previous top secret job. She’s had her boss find the perfect little out-of-the-way ranch for her and he’s taken care of all of the paperwork.

It doesn’t take Hella, who is a sharp, trained fighter long to start catching on that something is amiss about the property and the location itself. There is a mystery to be solved, and if it isn’t…

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F, F, ‘n F

Freeze, sucker!!!!

Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales

Probably not what you expect. I’m sure most writers understand the fight or flight response. But guess what?

There are three responses. Yep, three. What are they?

Fight, flight and freeze.

And they each lead into each other.

The freeze response is usually the first. It’s the immediate gut reaction, that hard knot that stops your body still as death, eyes wide, mouth open. If possible, the person finds the smallest space to hide in, curls up and disappears.

Then what? If the person gets cornered, trapped in their space by a marauder, the next step is attack. Yes, fight. When trapped in a corner, with your back to the wall, there’s no other choice. Fight your way out – or die. Simple.

Then what? If it’s a bad thing – and a fight to the death situation usually is – the person takes the first opportunity to run like…

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