When Less Is More: Cutting Out Unnecessary Words

 

Rock Paper Scissors: Go for the Scissors When it Comes to Improving Your Writing

 

The hardest part of the rewriting process is cutting away the words you killed yourself to get down on paper. Of course, there are some words that deserve to be cut.  To ease yourself into the revision process, start by cutting  these usually superfluous words:

1. Truly: (“I’m truly sorry.”)

2. So: (“I’m so excited to meet you!!!”)

3. That: (“I told her that I would call back later.”)

4. Really: (“He was really mean.”)

5. Very: (“He was very mean.”)

6. Totally: (“I totally agree!”)

Of course, sometimes these words shouldn’t be cut. However, that’s only when these words were chosen deliberately, rather than due to lazy writing. If you read your sentences out loud and the very, so, truly, totally or that are necessary to make your point, leave them in. If not, cut, cut, cut. CUT. It may initially cause you pain to watch your hard-earned word count shoot down by your own hand. But, once you liberate your writing from superfluous filler, it’ll have the opportunity to really truly totally shine.

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