Most of the writing blogs I’ve found focus their advice on fiction writing. Where are the how-can-I-make-ALL-my-writing-better blogs? Maybe I just haven’t found them yet. (If you have, please comment and let me know where they are so I can check them out.)
So I decided to start Writing Tip Wednesday. It’s one of the regular features I mentioned last week. Each Wednesday, I’ll post a helpful tip you can apply to everything from emails to annual reports to your latest short story.
My first writing tip? It’s simple enough:
Cut out unnecessary words, like that.
Wordiness makes your writing boring and long. Paring down your writing will help you choose more specific words and let your voice shine through. If you can convey your meaning with fewer words, do it.
That is the most ubiquitous culprit of wordiness, as in:
Did you know that she got the job?
Please tell me that you know that I’m talking about what happened last year.
He sighed, knowing that he had lost the sale that he needed to get the promotion.
Just take it out. These sentences say the same thing, but they sound better:
Did you know she got the job?
Please tell me you know I’m talking about what happened last year.
He sighed, knowing he had lost the sale he needed to get the promotion.
Recently, I edited a book for a friend who joked that his book lost six whole pages just by taking out the unnecessary thats. So it’ll help your word count too : )
There are lots of other words and phrases like that. Which ones do you see often?