In one of my writer’s workshops, a colleague pointed out a paragraph I began with the word “suddenly”. She cautioned usage of that word. Whenever it popped up in her writing, it usually meant she had neglected writing details in the previous paragraphs. I looked, and sure enough, she was right. I try to be conscious of that word now. Is it really necessary or would other details work as well? If something startles the POV character, I don’t need to spell out “suddenly” for the reader.
So when I was rereading my high school draft for fun the other day, I couldn’t help laughing my head off at these lines:
“Suddenly and without warning,”--what does “suddenly” mean if not “without warning”?
“He was very startled and staggered in bewilderment.”--ah, my fourth semester mentor would cringe. What does being startled or bewildered feel like?
Hope I brightened your life! Happy writing!