Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tighten up your writing - Week 2

Last week I introduced to you my list of naughty words. (Words that lead to passive voice or are used as a crutch.) Let's keep it going and bring in a few more.

People vary on the amount of description they like to write or read for that matter. Some enjoy long paragraphs detailing gardens or ball rooms while others skip it all and read the dialog. Whatever your taste, description should be written just as conscience as any other section in your WIP.

"George had a silver ring on his finger."

Why is this a flag word? Because it alerts me to wordiness. My wicked little editor, who I believe has short, spiky hair, would change it to this:

"George wore a silver ring."

Because, in all honesty, we know he's wearing it on his finger because that's were we wear rings. My editor says to give my readers credit and shorten it up.


This is my whiny word. It's also a lazy word for me to use.

"Fera only wanted one dance with George."

There's no image here; no getting into the character's head.

"Fera wanted one dance with George. One dance to take home in her heart."

This is one of the few times when I add words while I edit. Explain the only. Why is it only one? This clarifies my character's motivations. Whether my reader agrees with them or not is a whole other blog post.

Does this help? Are these some of your trouble words?

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