Episode #42 – Bite #165, Tighten Up

Bob amongst the deadwood (driftwood) on Rialto Beach near Forks, Washington

This being the first Thursday of the month, we take another bite from my book, Eating An Elephant: Write Your Life One Bite at a Time, and learn how to use only necessary words.

Today’s vlog highlights Bite #165 called “Tighten Up.”

Less is more definitely applies to writing, and yours should be free of unnecessary words, sometimes called deadwood.

When editing your story, remove all unnecessary words. Ensure each word is needed to understand the sentence.

Ask yourself:

  • Could what is written be communicated in fewer words?
  • Can a single word replace a phrase?

Subject your writing to these tests, and your text will shine.

Do you have favorite deadwood phrases that find their way into your sentences? What do you do to identify and extract them from your sentences?

Give us your tips for chopping the deadwood into kindling and igniting fiery sentences and paragraphs.

You may also want to check out vlog episode #38, “Hold It Up to the Light,” for more info on editing questions to ask yourself.

Remember, the only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all!

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Deadwood (driftwood) on Rialto Beach on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington
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11 months ago

Getting rid of dry wood words(excessive words) was a great visual to apply to our writing. Thanks. I must become very vigilant in spotting word and phrases that need cutting out or cutting down. Thanks.

Holly Martinez
11 months ago

Great lesson. You look very nice in this video, and the picture of the deadwood is perfect for the subject.

Etya Krichmar
11 months ago

Great picture to go with the topic.

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