NaNoWriMo Tip #10: Wordiness (Part 1)

  Over the next few posts, I will comment on the problem of wordiness and how to avoid it.

 

As writers we try to create the most prolific prose imaginable, but then again some of us try way too hard.  Here are some ways to avoid it:

 

1.  Speak Your Lines - Read aloud as you write prose.  Most of us do not speak idn a wordy way and your writing will become more natural.

 

2.  Revise - Go back and find those sentences that are too grandiose and overbearing.  Simplify, simplify, simplify.

 

3.  Have Confidence - Do not be afraid that your simplified sentence is not enough.  Sometimes you have to leave it alone.

 

4.  To Be - Use active forms of "to be" verbs rather than "was", "were" or "is".

 

5.  Passive Constructions - Passive voice can cause your writing to "tell" and not "show".  Find the thing in the sentence that is doing the action and then make it the subject: "The sandwich was made by the chef" could be "The chef made the sandwich".