Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cutting the Flab

I thought I would share the following bullets I gleamed from a recent speaker at a writer's event. You can find the same recommendations in every style book. I review these regularly, to keep the concept of "cutting the flab" on my mind as I write.

1. Wordy phrases – due to; on account; the reason
2. Weak constructions – type of man who; manner of
3. Tired phrases – emotional roller coaster; much to be desired; bit his lip
4. Redundancies – absolutely essential; reason because; recoil back
5. Overused & becoming meaningless – actually; basically; ultimately; of; as
6. Tinny & overused – then; suddenly; finally
7. Idle words – just; that; there; then
8. Intensifiers – very; certainly; literally
9. Not worth mentioning – minor characters; descriptions not pertinent to setting
10. Unwarranted repetition
11. ADJ and ADJ strings – white snow; remove if absence doesn't modify sentence
12. ADVs – remove and strengthen the verb
13. Worn word choice – pump them up

Write every day!


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