“Write tight.” One of the most common things a writer is told. Which means to “show more action with fewer words.”  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  One of the reasons why every word must have a purpose in your story.

Key ways to tighten prose:

Use strong action verbs, instead of a bunch of adverbs. {adverbs = those dreadful “ly” words.}

Eliminate weak words {almost, very,  pretty, a little, as, kind of, really, ect.}

Cut telling words {saw, felt, heard, watched, smelled, noticed, ect.}

Trim Starting  Coordinating Conjunctions {for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so, ect.}

Be wary of passive words {be, is, are, were, was, }

Eliminate wordy writing/phrases {off of, inside of, whether or not, ect. Off of = of, inside of =inside, whether or not = whether.}

Watch for redundant phrases, and words.

Don’t over use Just. Don’t overuse And.

Cut Weak Modifiers. {active, actively, actually, any, available, both, careful, carefully,himself, herself, themselves, ect.}

Be wary of State of Being verbs. {is, am, are, was, were, be, been, being, ect.} Bonus Tip: Eliminating state of being words is a key step to making your writing pop.

Sound off readers. What are some tricks you’ve picked up for writing tight? Don’t be shy. I’d love to hear new outlooks on the subject.


About kittyb78

Catrina Barton is a licensed Kung-Fu Instructor of the Black Dragon style, and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature. Whether it's a moon-lit starry sky, or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side. Growing up no matter where she was physically, she always had at least one book in her hands and spent every free moment lost in a book. It's only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing, especially Young Adult Paranormal Romances. She is a proud member of many writing and marketing groups, and an active participant at Critique Circle and several other crit groups. Favorite personal quote: "An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement."

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  7. […] Barton presents Cut Word Flab posted at Kitty’s Inner Thoughts, saying, “One of the most common things a writer is told […]

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