“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very.’ Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” – Mark Twain
I spent much of today polishing… polishing… and then (yeah, you guessed it) polishing yet again a new chapter in a horror story I’m currently working on. The first draft sounded pretty good. The second sounded better.
I left the chapter sitting on my desk for a few hours… you know, to gather a little dust so I could approach it with fresh eyes.
I was appalled at all the unnecessary ‘fluff’ I found when I went back to re-read it.
Good grief! Who was the culprit who snuck in all those unnecessary adverbs when I wasn’t looking? It couldn’t have been me who wrote that mess… uh, could it?
Well, unless someone has secretly highjacked my WORD documents, I fear the ugly truth is this: IT WAS ME. I was the one responsible for all the unnecessary verbiage.
Unlike Mark Twain, I have no editor to delete my transgressions. Fortunately, my sharp eyes picked them up when I went back for another read. After I deleted all the marshmallow language, I had a much tighter, more effective chapter.
Much shorter, too. If you consider 5,000 words short…