A brief apology for my absence: the house required me to attend to various things. A few more of those to do yet, but I discovered a spare moment lurking under the guise of sleep and decided to use it here.
Writers share ideas to improve their craft. Here, I’m looking at ways to trim our writing. Readers will thank us. I’ll examine common redundancies and flabby expressions.
Since it isn’t possible to blend apart, ‘together’ is redundant. e.g. The colours of her outfit blend together nicely. Try: The colours of her outfit blend nicely.
As to whether;
As to whether you should write in such a flabby manner is a matter of choice. Horrible, isn’t it? Try: Whether you write in such a flabby manner is a matter of choice.
Due to the fact that:
This is an empty phrase; wordy. e.g. Due to the fact that I write, I also read. Try: Because I write, I also read.
Reading this post whilst nodding wisely won’t improve your writing. Stay alert to extraneous words that sneak into text, or they’ll slide in when you’re not looking. Include this as part of your editing process to catch most offenders.
Fiction writers, however, be aware that real people often use redundancy and meaningless expressions when talking, so dialogue can be made more natural by occasionally including these.
These suggestions should make us think about what we write, examine the words, and help us decide how we can improve our writing. Rules about writing form useful guides, but, in the words of George Orwell, ‘Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.’