“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, June 25, 2015

“Know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

“Did you know that the first drafts of many of your writing heroes are just as clumsy, flabby and downright difficult to read as yours?”

Whoa, that’s a revelation.

It’s the editing.

I don’t know about you, but I get my word count up—then I edit, and nine tenths of my words disappear.

Think of old Strunk and White’s Elements of Style a book the Professor drummed into us in freshman English. “Simplify, simplify, simplify.”

But, you might ask, what about all those paragraphs rich in prose, description, scent and flavor you so love?

Yep. Use those. I think of author Rosamunde Pilcher and her Scottish highlands, and the scent of peat, and grouse and salt from the sea. Wow. I am in awe.

A writer’s dilemma—“Know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

Like  life.

Here are a few editing rules I found useful:
  • Take out filler words.

Example: it, here, there, it is, it was, it takes, her is, there is, there will be
There are some bloggers who seem to have…
  •  Don’t use wimpy words.

She is blogging….she blogs.

  • Use visceral verbs:

Find out….discover
Think of a blogging strategy….Devise a blogging strategy.

  • Avoid weak adjectives

Really bad….terrible
Really good….great
Very beautiful….gorgeous

Even straonger:
Editting is absolutely essential. Absolutely is redundant.

  • Commas:

Throw out the comma police.

Gosh, in freshman English I was hit with more “Comma faults” than I could shake a stick at. That made me take out a lot of commas though.

Now I ask the question, “What makes it easier to read?

I’m done .


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