15 Habits of Great Writers Challenge – Day 11, Declutter
Jeff Goins has challenged us to declutter our writing today. So, I’m pulling out one of my short stories, which needs some serious decluttering. I’ve got my desk cleaned off (except for my cat laying on it) and my red pen out. Here goes!
Three Tips to Declutter Your Writing:
- Look at the Big Picture First: Hone what you want to say before you get nit-picky about the grammar. Focus in on the heart of the story or article. Is it truly expressing what you want to say? Or is it rambling through an overcrowded trail of dull dialogue and pointless anecdotes? Identify the core of what you’re writing about and cut the rest.
- Get Picky: When you have the general flow of your story or article and all your points are clear, then you must get picky. Cut those extra words. Search for stronger verbs. Check your grammar and spelling. Be relentless if you want to write tight.
- Get Fresh Eyes: Have someone else read your revised work. No matter how many times I go through a piece, I always find typos or mistakes. It’s so frustrating, but it happens. Let another pair of eyes check for you.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
How about you? Is there anything that has helped you declutter your writing?