Reworking sentences

Here are a few tips to help improve sentences:

  • Remove the useless verbs. Go through and find the verbs ‘is, was, would, could, and has’. You know, the verbs that don’t say anything. For example, ‘He was racing through the streets” easily shifts to ‘He raced through the streets” to change it into something more active.
  • Remove the ‘ly’ adverbs, and select better descriptive words instead. For example, “She spoke softly.” becomes “Her words barely lifted above a whisper’, or to put it simply “She whispered.”
  • Remove scenes that don’t move the story forward. Every scene should offer the reader information pertaining to the plot, evoke an emotional response, or speed up or slow down the story.
  • Remember the writing rules, but know the reasons for for the rules so you know when to break them. For instance, its frowned upon to start a story talking about the weather, but if the weather impacts the character, causes conflict, creates drama, then by all means add it in your writing.

These are just a few tips to follow. Feel free to add your own comments below. Better yet, blog about your thoughts on the topic, and link in the comments.

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Filed under Editing, Tuesday Tip, Writer

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