Kudzu Word #4: Strange
The word strange is not instantly wrong. But all too often, people abuse the word in order to hedge or avoid coming to the point. You already know that’s not good!
Kudzu: Looking into Josh’s baby blues gave her a strange, but pleasant, feeling. (Oh, come on. This is silly purple prose. Unless his eyes are emanating radiation in concentric circles at her, she’s not feeling strange.)
Much Better: Looking into Josh’s baby blues warmed her inside and out. Her soldier was home. Emily tossed him the smile she saved only for him. She laughed when Josh lifted her off her feet in the embrace she’d had to imagine for a year.
Kudzu: What’s that strange smell? (Really? You’re a writer and can’t come closer to describing the smell than that?)
Better: Do you smell that metallic, earthy odor?