Welcome to Tuesday Tips - a weekly blog post for busy writers!
Here is a Tuesday Tip to improve your writing. It's easy for a writer to get caught up in "word count" goals. These are great goals for maintaining productivity, but too many words can actually dilute the strength of a piece of writing. There is a time to expound and a time to pare down. This exercise will help you learn to trim your words and identify opportunities to make more impact with less.
First - Write a paragraph describing a scene in detail.
Second - Reduce the paragraph to 2-3 sentences while attempting to maintain the same feeling.
Lastly - Reduce it to one sentence. What is the overall picture of this scene? Say it succinctly.
Here's an example:
First - Carol surveyed the aftermath of the sugar cookie project. Pink, purple, and yellow frosting seemed to be everywhere - on the counter, splattered on the floor, and all over the children’s hands and elated faces. Bowls and utensils contained remnants of the bright sugary goo while crumbs from broken cookies were scattered on every visible horizontal surface. Anticipation of the cleanup project overwhelmed the tired baker.
Second - The sugar cookie project seemed to have exploded in colorful chaos covering every visible surface. The exhausted baker was renewed as she gazed at the glowing, albeit messy faces of the children.
Last - The sugar cookie mess was everywhere, but baker noted the joyful children were worth the effort.
Paring it down isn't always the answer. However, the practice of paring down one's writing can help to hone skills, and that's always a good thing!
What do you think about this #tuesdaytip? Was it helpful? Feel free to leave a comment, and as always ...