Taking TOOK out of your MS

Took isn’t the most evil word to be found in your MS.
But it ain’t great either.
Below are some examples on how to remove took and alter your sentences for the better.

*He took a step forward and peered around the corner. He took in the scene before him. The room was empty. He suspected they were all hiding.


*He stepped forward, peering around the corner. The empty room confirmed his suspicion that his family and friends were hiding.*

The above *stepped*, which is generic, could also be written as, *He inched forward.* or *He edged forward.* Depending on the exact mood you wish to express.

*edged, peering (not looking or glancing), and suspicion.* These are all mood and character words meant to show you that the character is not pleased. Yet, we didn’t come right out and say it. I would guess this character will quite grumpy or sarcastic when the others “surprise” him.

More examples:

I took a sip of my drink. I sipped my drink.
She took a step toward me. She stepped toward me. (add mood: She slinked toward me.)
He took three steps back. He backed away. (Not: he backed up. Up? Did he just descend a ladder?)

Do a “search” for the word *took* in your MS. See if you can rewrite it. But watch your echoes when replacing words out of context.


About dustinadams

I write the wrongs.
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Taking TOOK out of your MS

  1. Gretchen Stone says:

    I took your advice and took a look at my ms. Not too many tooks but now I am on the lookout for them! It will take some time to look everywhere but I will take all means necessary to take them all out.

  2. dustinadams says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Gretchen. I just caught a “take” in one of my stories and removed it. I was so busy looking for took, I forgot about take. 🙂

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