Cut It Out: What to Leave Out of Your Writing

imagesWhen you are writing, sometimes what you leave out is more important than what you keep. Good writing is concise, so know what to cut. Below are a few examples of what to leave out of your writing.

Adverbs: Adverbs modify verbs and usually end in –ly, such as loudly. While adverbs are appropriate in some instances, avoid them whenever possible. For example, instead of saying, “She screamed loudly,” say “She screamed.” When someone is screaming, it is implied they are doing so loudly.

Big Words: Your extensive vocabulary might be impressive, but there is no need to put every word you know into your writing. A good rule to follow is when a simple word will due, use it instead of a more complex one. We aren’t saying you should cut out all the ten-dollar words; just be sure to only use them when appropriate.

Non-Essential Parts: Take out anything that is not vital to your story, whether it be words, sentences or an entire chapter. If the reader could skip it without getting lost, then leave it out. By cutting out everything that is not essential, your message will be clear to the reader.

With these tips, you can make your writing more meaningful, powerful and concise.

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