The Word Count Diet

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Many writers get crushed when their 120,000-word novel is rejected. What takes place when you enter a contest that says 500 words or significantly less and you finish up with 894 words? You could invest years writing your story or hours writing an write-up, but that does not imply you are accomplished. It suggests you have completed the very first draft. That’s excellent, congratulations are in order, not everyone tends to make it that far. Remember it is a lot less complicated to reduce words than to add them. I can image quite a few of you considering, “Yea right, my editor wants me to cut 10,000 words!”

Believe it or not, it is not as terrifying as a lot of writers believe. Let me give you an instance. When I very first believed about writing this write-up the name was: “How to Cut Your Word Count Down by 10,000 Words or More, in 3 Easy Steps.” That’s 16 words extended, but it catches your attention, ideal? Then I came up with: “Three Easy Steps to a Better Word Count.” When I study each to my wife, she mentioned, “That’s the same thing.” She was ideal, except that now it was only eight words extended. If you appear at the major of the web page, you see I ended up with “The Word Count Diet,” which is only 4 words extended. Did I transform the which means? No. Did I ruin the title? Obviously not, you are nevertheless reading it, are not you?

One sentence is various than a entire story, but the notion is there. The much more time you have invested, the tougher it is to reduce words from your baby. But let’s face it, you want your baby to develop up someday and leave the nest, ideal? That’s named editing. There I’ve mentioned it, you do not have to hold your breath any longer. But I’m a inventive soul, you believe, why would I want to tear it apart?

Listen to this statement “Editing is not destroying, it’s simplifying, it’s enhancing, it’s making it easier to read.” With that in thoughts, exactly where do you start if you are not a specialist editor or English important? I recommend you appear at 3 locations that will boost your perform. These locations are adverbs, adjectives, and glue words.

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Adverbs are modifiers of verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. The easiest way to determine an adverb is that it ordinarily ends with the letters LY. Why is everyone against making use of LY words? Many writers, editors, and readers look at it lazy writing simply because you do not show something. Example: She lightly tapped on the door. The word tap suggests “a light knock”, so it is sort of redundant. You could say: She tapped on the door with a gentle caress for worry of waking the baby. Not shorter, but it is much more engaging. I also could have mentioned unquestionably not shorter, but it serves no goal. When you appear at most LY words that is what you obtain, they do not add any substance.

The phrase ‘all factors in moderation’ suggests quit making use of so a lot of stupid, pointless, space wasting, disgusting adjectives. I could have mentioned, quit making use of adjectives, but what exciting would that be? Many writers have the mistaken concept that the much more adjectives you use, the much better. This is not accurate. It slows the reader down. Mark Twain exhorted writers to “kill” any adjectives they could catch. I do not know if I would go that far. Soft brown eyes are fine but… soft brown, glowing, golden eyes like pools of honey… is a small substantially, do not you believe?

What specifically is a glue word? Glue words are the 200 most frequent words in the English language. The issue is they are so frequent it is simple to overuse them. Words to appear out for consist of: like, the, so, extremely, and, or, but, major, tall, up, down, and so on. For instance, you could say, “Sally walked across the room so she could check out the full-length mirror and see how good her new dress looked.” (21 words) Or you could say, “Sally admired her new dress in the mirror.” (eight words) The which means has not changed, but the word count has. The other concern with glue words is they are so vague, they do not imply something. Don’t say extremely sad, say depressed. Don’t say definitely tired, say exhausted. Nine instances out of ten you can get rid of the word that and no one will notice. Maybe it is only a word right here and there, but when you know which words to appear for it can add up. Look at the title once again, from 16 words to 4 words. Even if you only do half that superior, your bloated 120,000-word novel has just come to be a 60,000-word greatest seller. Think about it.

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