Write tight: The best way to save your readers’ time

Your readers don’t have time to dig through your words to find the main point, get to it fast!

Four part series

For the next four weeks, I will be sharing blasts on how to help us write tighter. It is necessary to learn this skill because readers don’t have time to read our ramblings. We need to get to the point and do so fast.

For this week I will focus on the use of unnecessary words.

  • Unnecessary words
  • Dialogue tags -what works and what must go (week 2)
  • Show don’t tell (week 3)
  • Nouns and verbs NOT adverbs and adjectives(week 4)

Unnecessary Words

Unnecessary words make the reader yawn and click out of your blog or shut your book and hope they have enough strength to resume your ramblings later. You don’t want that.

You want to hook your reader and let go when you have made your point. A point you pray your reader will feel was worth their time.

Here are a few examples of how writers use unnecessary words, especially fiction writers.

  1. She yelled out loud. When someone yells it is obvious that it is loud. The last part of that sentence is unnecessary.
  2. She blinked her eyes rapidly.
  3. He shrugged his shoulders. What else does one shrug?
  4. An evil smile spread across her lips. She smirked.

Avoid telling what isn’t happening

  1. She yelled and he didn’t say anything back, he just walked away. The other character walked away without saying a word, this is obvious if all he does is walk away.
  2. He didn’t come back that night. He came back in the morning.
  3. The people on the train were loud, they’re voices didn’t quiten the whole ride, and my head kept pounding.

I still get tripped by these when writing, this is why editing is king. Strive to keep your writing simple and clear, your readers will love you for it.

What are some unnecessary words you find in your writing?

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