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Get to the Point: Trimming Unnecessary Words: Beyond the Style Manual, #2

Get to the Point: Trimming Unnecessary Words: Beyond the Style Manual, #2

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Get to the Point: Trimming Unnecessary Words: Beyond the Style Manual, #2

81 Seiten
1 Stunde
Sep 2, 2014


A no-nonsense guide for authors interested in taking their writing to the next level, Get to the Point offers clear, simple tips for tightening your sentences, improving your story’s pacing, increasing tension, and generating a more entertaining voice. Its techniques will aid you in strengthening awareness of unwanted habits, gaining clearer understanding of unnecessary description, and informing solid strategies for concise, powerful prose.

Top-notch writing makes every novel come alive. This guide booklet will help you learn to:

-          Identify hidden redundancies

-          Cut clunky phrases and their hangers-on

-          Rescue tension and pacing from lazy adverbs

-          Harness the power of the metaphor

-          Recycle those info dumps

-          Discover how to show and when to tell

-          Practice the art of the subtle foreshadow

-          Balance dialogue tags with conversation

-          Separate descriptive essentials from the everyday

-          Apply informed context to avoid over explaining

-          Retain POV control to eliminate headhopping

-          Avoid misleading with ordinary overkill

At 13,000 words, Get to the Point is packed with informed tips and tricks that will help you elevate your writing to the next level as you craft a compelling novel.

Sep 2, 2014

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Get to the Point - Stefanie Spangler Buswell

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Beyond the Style Manual™

Get to the Point

A Red Adept Publishing Book

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

First EPUB Edition: August 2014

Red Adept Publishing, LLC

104 Bugenfield Court

Garner, NC 27529

Cover and Formatting: Streetlight Graphics

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.


It’s true—sometimes, less is more. A lot of clunky extras can weigh down—and even bury—the well-written parts that should be the focal point of your writing. A short, terrific piece that tells your story can be better than a long, bloated masterpiece no one will ever be brave enough to tackle. Your words should serve your intention: for people to read and think about your message. The words themselves are important, but the ideas behind the words are why readers pick up a book. When the writing doesn’t deliver the message, it isn’t doing its job. And when your writing isn’t doing its job, it needs to be trimmed.

Drawing in a reader is one thing, but keeping a reader is another. The best writers understand how to hold a reader’s attention. Convoluted, wordy writing draws focus away from the content and makes readers work harder than necessary. This guide discusses how to streamline your writing into more efficient and effective prose. I’ll explain how to find and eliminate wordiness and redundancy so that you can avoid unnecessary explanations and excessive descriptions. Then you can work on making your long, clunky sentences into more concise, cleaner prose. And the quiz at the end of the book will even give you a little practice.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get to the point!

Chapter 1:

Reducing Redundancy and Wordiness

Wording can easily run off with the meaning, especially during an intense writing session when you’re trying to get your thoughts down. In the heat of the moment, all you could think of was running slowly. But when you came back to the passage after letting it sit for a while, you realized that jogging was better.

Crazy wording can be tough to avoid during the creative process, but wordiness can be easier to catch on a reread, and it’s a big part of the weedy stuff that can clutter up your writing. But good writing should be a manicured lawn. And the trouble with the wordy bits isn’t just that they’re bogging down your writing; they might even be obscuring your meaning. Consider this bit of wordy writing:

Crouching down, I gripped the hilt of my sword with my fingers, aware of my legs being bent at the middle, ready to spring. Then I pulled my sword from the protective case holding it at my hip. I pushed up with my legs, moving my arm quickly and sharply cutting the air.

This passage is really wordy, and it’s the kind of thing that makes total sense to a writer in the heat of the moment, and probably even when he rereads without taking careful stock. But to a reader, it can be confusing. What exactly is happening with the legs? And where is that sword? Take a look at the cleaned-up version:

Crouching, I gripped the hilt of my sword, aware of the tension in my knees. I drew my sword from the scabbard at my hip. Then I sprang, swinging my arm and slicing the air.

This version makes more sense than the original did. Some of the issues with the original passage are just wordiness. For example, the word tension steps in for ready to spring, and the definition of scabbard already includes the information that it protects the blade of the sword. You’ll usually find that

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