Whenever you write, you should aim for maximum simplicity. You want tight writing with no redundancies, flowery language, or longer than necessary words. Shun pretentious writing. It exposes your inexperience.
I borrowed the following example from a class I am taking through Udemy. It does a great job of showing what I am trying to explain. If you haven’t checked Udemy out, I would highly recommend their classes. They are informative, interesting, and very easy to follow, and are a fraction of the cost of most sites I’ve visited. Now back to my blog and the example 🙂
The specific point I am trying to make is that the colors red and gray go well together.
The point I am trying to make is that the colors red and gray go well together.
My point is that the colors red and gray go well together.
The colors red and gray go well together.
Red and gray go well together.
Red and gray match.
I’m sure if you take each of these sentences one at a time, you can follow the process of deletion. The first sentence is dull and tiresome, while the last one is a strong vivid statement.
Practice this technique by looking at your own sentences. Do you have any unnecessary fat? What words can you cut?
Redundancies? These are twin words written side by side. They mean the same thing and one of them needs to go.
- new-record (as in sports)
Implied words? These are also unnecessary because they are implied.
- nodded-her head (what else would she nod?)
- shrugged-his shoulders (what else would he shrug?)
- ran-speedily (how else would you run?)
- yelled-loudly (how else would you yell?)
Long words versus short words
- utilize – use
- deployed – sent
- confiscated – took/seized
Remember, short words quicken the pace, they don’t weigh the sentence down, and are easier for your reader to process.
I would caution that there are times when those long flowery words are the best choice. Before you start cutting, make sure you haven’t compromised clarity or elegance. You don’t want a string of choppy sentences.
Hope this helped 🙂