Monday, October 17, 2016

#WWoW! Author's Craft: Cut the Extra Words #AmEditing

Tighten Your Copy Yourself
Cut the Extras.

Avoid “very” and “really.”
They add nothing to the meaning of your sentence.
Don't write: "He saw a very beautiful woman across the bar."
It means the same thing as "He saw a beautiful woman across the bar."

Eliminate “in order to.”
You never need it.
Don't write: "She’s going to the bathroom in order to take a bath."
It can be tighter as "She's going to the bathroom to take a bath."

Reduce “that.”
Very rarely does “that” makes your idea easier to understand. Mostly, it's useless so get rid of it when you can.
Don't write: “He discovered that Sarah was good for him.”
It reads better as “He discovered Sarah was good for him.”

Nix “currently.”
“Currently” is redundant. It builds a barrier between reader and story.
Don’t write: “Josie is currently in the garden.”
If Josie is anywhere, she’s there at that moment so you don’t need “currently” to clarify.
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