Tag Archives | Casey McCormick

Deja Vu Blogfest – The key to becoming a skilled writer!

Welcome everyone! Here is a blogpost I wrote a year or so ago. Hope you enjoy it!

Casey McCormick inspired me to tighten my writing. Read her wonderful posts. Part one. Part Two. Part Three.

Many times as writers, we hear that one of the most important things to do when revising is to cut, cut, cut. In our heads we know this is trueBut sometimes, especially if it’s our first novel, it’s really hard to find the words to cut because we like all of them. Our words are like precious gems.

If we’re lucky, we might stumble upon a very helpful list of words to cut that includes words like: like, that, just, very, actually, started to, seemed to, really, exactly…the list goes on. The good thing is that after writing for some time, you start to automatically exclude those words.

After your first novel, you learn to write tighter. Meaning, you can write the same sentence using less words. And not only do you use less words, but the words you use are stronger, more powerful. As you will read many times over, it is important for writers to use strong verbs to eliminate adverbs and use carefully chosen words to elicit an emotion response in your reader.

Yes, words are a powerful tool.

In our writingwords should create a mental image so in the reader’s mind there is a continually running movie. I think the reason writers keep writing is because they are in love with words. To writers, words are like a toy in the hands of a toddler and we slobber all over them. But eventually we grow up and realize that one special toy means much more to us than a toy chest full of junk.

After tightening my prose, I could have written this post in about five seconds. Here is my final version:

As writers, cut, cut, cut: like, that, just, very, actually, started to, seemed to,really, exactly. Write the same sentence using less words. Strong verbs elicit emotion. Create a mental image.

Gosh, but really, why stop?

As writers, cut, cut, cut: like, that, just, very, actually, started to, seemed to, really, exactly. Write the same sentence using less words. Strong verbs elicit emotion. Create a mental image.

I think I got it narrowed down.

Cut. Write less words. Strong verbs elicit emotion.

But this tightening thing is really addicting.

Cut. Write less words. Strong verbs elicit emotion.

Okay, so here is my polished, tightened version.

Write words.

But wait. One more quick edit.

Write words.

Finally. Phew. Editing is hard work. And the key to becoming a better writer is….


Comments { 55 }