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High Culture

Stephen King says writers should stop using this one “very tired” word

The 71-year-old author suggests replacing the adjective “amazing” with something more “pungent & specific”.


Key Takeaways
  • In a tweet published Sunday night, Stephen King asked writers to stop using the word “amazing”.
  • Many users agreed, also suggesting that similarly overused adjectives like “awesome” be retired.
  • In his 2000 bestselling book “On Writing: A Memoir to the Craft”, King offered similar advice on overusing adverbs.

“Amazing” is one adjective that aspiring writers should nix and replace with something more “pungent & specific,” according to author Stephen King.

Note to writers: “Amazing” is very tired. “Amazing” needs a long vacation. Therefore, please don’t write about your amazing party, your amazing girlfriend’s amazing dress, or your amazing vacation. Something more pungent & specific, please.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 29, 2018

Generally agreeing that "amazing" should be descriptor non grata, Twitter users offered other words that could be used to describe that which astonishes or causes great wonder.

Agree with you 100%. That's why I always write "wicked awesome."
— John Janikas (@jjanikas) October 29, 2018
— Erin Jardine (@caladrius25)
October 29, 2018

How about Amazeballs??
— Logan Murphy 🌊 (@LoganMurphy1) October 29, 2018

* Brought to you by the committee to bring back "groovy".
— Vote November 6th (@_TheWife) October 29, 2018

Many on Twitter said 'awesome' should also be shelved.

Awesome could use a vacation as well.
— @IrishGypsyWolf (@IrishGypsyWolf) October 29, 2018

It's not the first time King has taken to Twitter to offer writing advice.

Aspiring fiction writer? Cool! Here are 2 phrases you must NEVER use: "for a long moment" and "for some reason." Find another way!
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 22, 2017

However, the bulk of King's instructional wisdom lies in his 2000 book 'On Writing: A Memoir to the Craft', in which he also decried the overuse of adverbs: "I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops."


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