by Barbara McNichol
In my workshops and ezines, I constantly encourage writers to improve their writing by tightening their paragraphs. But what does that mean?
It means finding ways to get your point across using words that each “work like a galley slave” in the sentence or paragraph. Maximum effect using a minimum number of words. Whack wordiness!
Let me throw out a challenge–that is, tigthen the paragraph below by rewriting it. Your assignment? Convey the essence of this paragraph using a maximum of 21 words. Ready, go!
The subsequent chapters then will focus in great detail on each of the steps to make sure you know how to accomplish each step before proceeding to the next step and how to measure whether or not you are ready to move to the next step.
Your next (even more meaningful) assignment?
Dig out a page or two of your own writing and pick the longest paragraph you’ve written. Count the number of words in that paragraph and then rewrite it completely, reducing that number by a third, even half. Ensure you keep the meaning intact while making each word “work like a galley slave.”
Show me the results of either assignment or both (email the before/after writings or post them in this blog) and I’ll reward you with my Word Trippers ebook.
Give it a whack!