Image from Dark Uncle
You may be a grammatical black belt, leaping big vocabulary words in a single bound. But take care: you could still be making elementary mistakes that’ll leave your readers cringing, eye-rolling, and yes, even face-palming.
Photo by Ciara McDonnell
I preach plenty about trimming the fat from writing. Strunk, White and Zinsser command it, and I’ve learned it firsthand from dealing with limited space in ads, radio commercials and billboards.
Efficient writing is better writing.
Goodness knows how many times I’ve advised you to cut the fluff in your novel. But there is such a thing as cutting too much. If your goal is “as short as possible!” you might end up cutting more than the fluff—important stuff like character development and symbolism.
You’ve been working on your novel for so long, you no longer know what’s good and what’s bad. You can’t tell whether the tone is right, the pacing is fast enough, or the characters are believable. All you can see is a swarm of words.
When the pages are closing in on you. [image by Thanakrit Du]
You either think it’s all wonderful (you’re wrong) or it’s all terrible (you’re wrong).
I’m afraid the article I was going to publish today is only half finished – instead of completing it, I spent the evening addressing bridal shower invitations.
But I won’t let you go empty-handed!
I present Strunk & White’s (or at least two guys with fake mustaches’s) Elements of Style Rap: