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.
Please say you’d never put this on paper. e.g. He is known as being the smartest guy in the office. Try: He is known as the smartest guy in the office.
Bouquet of flowers:
Remembering to except ‘Bouquet garni’, you can do without ‘of flowers’, as a bouquet is otherwise made of flowers. e.g. He bought her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Try: He bought her a beautiful bouquet. And so he should, considering the dreadful way he’d treated her previously!
In the context shown, this phrase is unnecessary. e.g. The reason you hate her is because she’s beautiful. Try: You hate her because she’s beautiful. And, stop being so envious; it does no good!
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.’
And, should you want to emulate the word cloud shown, please visit this website, where you’ll find you can do it free.