Writing Tip

Writer’s Digest recently had this up as a recommendation for rewriting that first draft:

Pare down or eliminate scenes that don’t further the story. Examine plot points, characters, description, dialogue and exposition, until you have precisely what you need to tell your story, and not a character or subplot more. Then apply this same philosophy to your work at the sentence level, killing your darlings and eliminating excessive adjectives and adverbs, along with verbose descriptions. Bring out the flavor of both your story and your style, but stop short of overseasoning.

Many projects I work on have to be trimmed in some way. A close line edit can, word by carefully selected word, trim away as much as 15% of a manuscript’s word count. Books that need higher level work with plot points, dialog and the like, can be reduced further.

The result: Faster pacing, higher suspense, greater emotional impact, condensed tone…and a much better read.


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