Techniques to Cure Wordiness

grammar-manA writer’s greatest skill should be allowing words to do their work. If we do that, our writing should be very concise. I’m planning a series of posts here in the coming weeks–a how-to. I invite you to give these suggestions a try and see if you don’t sense the beauty of words anew.

Technique #1: Cut redundant modifiers.

In just a few exercises of looking for these little buggers, they’ll start to leap off the page at you. This is an easily curable habit!

Basic essentials … climb up … each individual … end result … free gift … new initiative … past history … personal opinion … true fact …

When was a fact ever untrue? Or your opinion not personal? Or an initiative not new?

Look closely at the modifiers you include in your writing to be sure they’re not restating the word they’re modifying. If they are, delete them. You’re one step closer to being concise.

And, come on… words like initiative, opinion and fact speak wonderfully on their own when you let them.