Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cut the Damn Fat!

"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

Have you used two or three words -- or sentences -- where one would do?

Keep your work lean and trim. Say more with less.

Look for words like “very,” “actually,” “really” and “quite.”

More often than not, actually, they are really quite unnecessary.

Can you put the previous sentence on a diet and trim it from 10 words to four?

Adapted from Rule #9 in "Eighteen Rules for Revising Your Work," from The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write (LightLines Media, 2008)

Photo: Mark Twain -- damning his very's?

1 comment:

That_One_Guy said...

"Cut the fat!!" was such an annoying thing to hear in school. Barf lol

I like beef! Leave the beef alone! haha