Life’s finally a little more settled, so I can return to posting about the mechanics of writing, as I used to on my old blog. I’ve found many writers welcome the sharing of ideas that might improve our craft.
So, let’s chop the fat from our writing. Make it lean and trim. Readers will thank us.
In this series, I’ll look at some common redundancies.
But, reading this and nodding wisely in agreement won’t do. We need to stay alert to those extraneous words that sneak into text, or they’ll reappear. Including this aspect in our editing process should catch most offenders.
‘absolutely’ is a redundant adjective. e.g. George thought his plan for the economy was absolutely essential for improved performance. Try: George believed his plan for the economy would create essential improvements.
‘brief’ is a redundant qualifier. e.g. For a brief moment, Shirley was silent. Try: For a moment, Shirley remained silent.
For all intents and purposes (or, to all intents and purposes):
This is an empty phrase and should be avoided (except when used in dialogue appropriate to the character). e.g. For all intents and purposes, the bond between Rita and Sean was damaged beyond repair. Simpler: The bond between Rita and Sean was damaged beyond repair. Better: Jealousy (or some other relevant quality) destroyed the bond between Rita and Sean.