Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Time for 2015's first Insecure Writer's Support Group, a chance to share our hopes and fears, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.
Since starting as a writer eight years ago, I've grown. (I've gained about twenty pounds, but that's for another post.) The kind of growth I'll discuss today is writing skill development. While I still have so much to learn, one area I've improved is tighter writing.
Be gone, verbal diarrhea!
So I want to share this excellent post, 25 Ways to Tighten Your Writing by Betsy Mikel with YOU.
A few of those tips that resonate with me:
1) Stop the adverb abuse. (I was a big offender). Dump the adverbs and choose more descriptive verbs. Instead of "I moved slowly", try "I trudged."
2) Knock out the highfalutin' vocabulary. When I first started writing, I wanted to impress everyone with my intelligence by using words like avocation, prescient, and anathema. Then I learned NOBODY CARES how smart I am. Readers just want a good story with compelling characters, and bigass words might interrupt the flow.
3) Use contractions, which help dialogue sound more realistic. I can't believe how long I'd write without contractions.
The article provides a link to 200 Common Redundancies. My critique partner Nicki Elson and I felt overwhelmed by reading that list!
In 2015, may your writing be loose and your editing tight, writer friends.