Writing Tip #10: If you can skip it, CUT it.

While editing my first novel, I came across a few words and sentences that sat quietly on the pages. They didn’t hurt my story, but they also didn’t make it stronger. So after analyzing them for a while, I decided to cut most of them, and the rest I rewrote.

It’s easy to fall in love with our words and our writing, but don’t get too attached. Some sentences may appear in your manuscript, but are not necessary. Some paragraphs exist to simply fill the page or the chapter, but your story may be better off without them. Watch out for wordy sentences and useless descriptions of things that are not important.

Remember, we want our readers to enjoy our stories and to keep reading—not to stop reading, or to skip pages.

Happy editing!


0 Replies to “Writing Tip #10: If you can skip it, CUT it.”

  1. This is a great tip. Working in journalism really made me aware of this – your articles could get cut mercilessly, and the result was usually to make them better. Has definitely helped my fiction too. Thanks for posting 🙂 I love Montreal, by the way, so was great to read about your time there.

  2. I was proofing my coffee table book, “Art of Winter” last night and came to an interesting realization. I was reading the two essays in the book for typos, which I had written and had professionally edited. I read for typos by reading the proof upside. Yes, I’ve been called hardcore for doing this but it gave me a totally different perspective, similar to your comments of “if you can skip it, cut it.” Reading it upside down made me realize that I could have written different parts simpler and more clearly. Yes, they are good they way they are. And if I had the luxury to totally rewrite the essays I would have.

    1. That is hardcore. Reading it upside down sounds like a challenge, but I’m sure it’s a great technique. I have to try that now. Thanks Julie!

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