On Writing  

Editing out the Fat

   

 
 

We often write as we speak and we speak with a lot of words that are redundant or not needed. In today’s fast paced world readers, agents and editors want the ‘fat’ out of writing. Here are some hints where to remove excess words. It makes for a leaner, faster reader. You also can save thousands and thousands of words!! Editors love that!

Get rid of adverbs>>>
Adverbs are usually unnecessary: Adverbs are unnecessary.

Here is a list of the worse offenders, just stop and look at every –Ly word and ask yourself if you REALLY (lol) need it.

Very
Really
Especially
Generally
Usually
Frequently
Often
Nearly
Almost

Redundancy

there>>>>

He stood there = He stood
He sat there = He sat
He lie there = He lie

down and up>>>

He sat down = He sat
He stood up = he stood
He went up the steps = he went upstairs
He went down the steps = he went downstairs

was>>>>

He was going to the story = He went to the story
He was dancing = He danced

of the>>>>two world that appear more than you realize

He went to the door of the barn = He went to the barn door.

Redundant phrases

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | W | XYZ

A~

absolutely necessary
academic scholar
added bonus
advance forward
advance scout
advance warning
affirmative yes
affluent rich
all inclusive
always and forever
and etc.
anonymous stranger
ask a question
associate together
at this point in time
attach together
autobiography of my life
automatic ATM machine
awful bad

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B~

baby calf
bad trouble
bare naked
basic fundamentals
begin to proceed
boat marina
boiling hot
brief moment
bunny rabbit
burning hot

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C~

cash money
cease and desist
chile pepper
circle around
circulated around
classic tradition
climb up
close proximity
close scrutiny
closed fist
cold frost
collaborate together with
combined together
commence to begin
completely filled
complete monopoly
complete stop
completely unanimous
component parts
consensus of opinion
continuing on
convicted felon
crystal clear
crimson red

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D~

dark night
Déjà vu all over again
delete out
descend down
duplicate copy
down under

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E~

each and every one of you
elderly senior citizens
elevate up
empty blank
empty hole
empty space
end result
ending outcome
essential necessity
enter into
evil villain
exact replica
extreme hazard
extremely hazardous
exactly the same

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F~

falling down
famous celebrities
false illusion
favorable approval
fellow colleagues
female daughter
final farewell
fill in the empty blank
first of all
first priority
for your FYI
foreign imports
former graduate
former veteran
free gift
freezing cold
full satisfaction
future plans

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G~

gather together
good success
grand total
grateful thanks
Greetings & Salutations
growing greater

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H~

hanging down
honest truth
hopes and aspirations
hot water heater
hygienic cleaning

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I~

I remembered back
I remember back when
I thought to myself
ice cold
immortalized forever
income coming in
individual person
initially from the beginning
inner core
it's raining outside

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J~

jet plane
join together

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K~

KFC chicken (Kentucky’s contribution to the world!)
killed dead
kitty cat
knowledgeable experts

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L~

last will and testament
latex rubber (or rubber latex)
LCD display
live audience
little baby
live witness

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M~

male son
manually by hand
marital spouse
mental thought
merge together
money-saving coupon
more easier
my personal opinion

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N~

near vicinity
negative misfortune
new & improved
new discovery
new innovations
newborn baby
not one single person
null and void

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O~

original founder
other alternatives
over and above

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P~

pair of twins
passing fad
past experience
past history
past tradition
personal friend
pie a la mode with ice cream
Pizza Hut pizza
pizza pie
plait a braid
positive yes ( as opposed to a negative no!)
postponed until later
previous history
previously recorded
print out
prior history
proposed plan
protective armor
protective helmet
puppy dog

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R~

raise up (of the up, down, there critters)
refer back
repeat again
return back
revert back
Rio Grande River
rising above
round circle
RSVP, please

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S~

safe sanctuary
safe haven
separate out
sharp point
shrimp scampi
sink down (down again!)
small child
small speck
soda pop
solitary hermit
soup du jour of the day
specific example
spinning around
square box
still remains
sufficient enough
surrounded on all sides
swampy marsh

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T~

tear apart
temper tantrum
temporary reprieve
terrible tragedy
three triplets
tiny bit
toys and playthings
true fact
tuna fish
turning around
two twins

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U~
under cover
unexpected surprise
unique individual
unmarried bachelor
unmarried old maid
unsolved mysteries
useless and unnecessary
usual custom

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W~

wall murals
wear upon
whether or not
willful temper
widow woman
written down

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XYZ~

Xerox copy
young child
youthful teenager

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