I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I’ve spent the last ten years trying to cut down on my verbiage, to pare down my words so that each one is necessary and none are gratuitous in my storytelling. While I think that is a worthy goal, the trick here, like everywhere else, is to find balance. Pared down is not stripped down and bare. It does not mean that the writer has not painted a picture. It means that the writer has used a different set of brushes and brush strokes to create their landscape.
Write It Sideways has a great post (and links to five other articles) on cutting gratuitous words. And write to done has a great guest post by Tom Walker on 10 Quick Tips For Concise, Compelling Writing.
What words do you overuse/think you could cut from your writing? How much is too much? Do you use/plan to use any of Tom’s tips? Any other tips that you use?