5 Words that Will Lull Your Readers to Sleep Faster than Ambien | Write Brilliant
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5 Words that Will Lull Your Readers to Sleep Faster than Ambien

by Margaret Feinberg


Some people fall asleep in bed with a good book.

Maybe their job left them exhausted. Or perhaps the author’s prose lulled them into dreamland.

I’m all for sweet sleep and a good night’s rest, but your writing should captivate, inspire, and challenge your readers. We want your readers to stay up until the sun rises because your writing is that intoxicating.


But what if your words are causing your readers to nod off, lose interest, or—gasp!stop reading?

At Write Brilliant, we have reviewed writers’ work and (because we are honest to a fault) have to inform the client that their writing is a total snoozefest.

Often they can’t contain their shock. And we’re surprised that they are surprised.

The prose is dull and flat. The stories are overloaded with unnecessary description. They take too long to make a point–if they even have one.

If you’re afraid that your writing might as well be a lullaby, don’t worry. You can eliminate sleep-inducing words from your writing once you learn them.

We share many of these words in our Write Brilliant course, but here’s is a list of five to start with. These words will lull your readers to Lala-land faster than Ambien. Avoid them and you’ll take one more step toward becoming a brilliant writer.

This tiny word presents a big problem for many writers. Little is so nondescript that it fails to spark a reader’s imagination. If you find this word in your writing, don’t worry. I, too, struggling with overusing it. Zip-up this little word by replacing it with micro, mini, petite, small-fry. Or tiny, which I used five sentences earlier.

Many of your readers will be, well, rather annoyed with this word. Delete this one, and you’ll find usage is often unnecessary. Remove rather and your sentences will be tighter, your prose will read smoother, and you’ll hold readers’ attention longer.

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Writers often insert unnecessary words for emphasis. But what you’re saying can be absolutely clear without the use of this word. Slash absolutely and help readers avoid a temporary coma.

If you’re looking for an drowsy-word, you’ve found it with nice. Brilliant writers should replace this common, hollow adjective with a sparkly and more descriptive alternative. Ask yourself what you’re really trying to communicate with that word and then pull our your trusty thesaurus.

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Besides being a naughty adverb, nothing is truly truly. Delete this word from your writing and no one will ever notice. Promise.

These words will slip into your writing from time to time, and there’s no need to freak out when they do. Be gentle with yourself. Focus on reducing usage overtime so that instead of giving your reader a siesta, you’ll make your writing sizzle.

Want more tips to making writing more captivating and contagious?

Sign up for our FREE 3-part mini course designed to help you start writing, sustain your writing, and share your writing.

Click here to jumpstart your writing now.



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