We have discussed using too many long or uncommon words before. It can distract your readers from your message. This time, we will discuss using unnecessary words in your writing. If you can explain something in ten words instead of thirty, then it is often better to eliminate those twenty words that you do not need.
Many writers find it difficult to write very short pieces. You need to be able to describe something, tell a story and leave a message in a small number of words, which is a difficult skill to master. There are many ways to practice cutting down your word count and removing words that are merely there to fill space and have no real significance in your piece.
In poetry, you could try rewriting an old poem but cutting the word count in half, or if you want to practice in a specific form you can try something short, like a limerick or a haiku. These will really make you think about which words you are using and why you are using them.
If you like stories, try flash fiction. There are many challenges available online, including blogs dedicated to them. These are short pieces that are usually between 100 and 200 words. There are many places where you can get tips about how to write such short stories; reading other people’s stories can give you a great idea of how successful flash fiction works. You do not have to cut everything short, but neither should you use additional words for the sake of it.
Written by: Laura Clark
* Laura is a 23 year old English woman with a history degree residing in the UK. She has been writing for many years and enjoys writing horror/fantasy stories, as well as poetry. You can view her work at: https://inspiredstoriesandpoems.wordpress.com/
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Categories: Writing Tips