Editing Like a Badass: Be Concise

You are editing and feel like your manuscript is lacking, but you not sure what to do, what to add and what to cut out.

There is no secret that some of the paragraphs that you’ve written are cumbersome and useless, and you agree on that. But what about those that don’t stand out? They are there but don’t add anything to the story.

So let’s talk about the conciseness of your story.

Kill your darling

When editing ask yourself, does this scene adds anything to the story? Is there something mentioned that is advancing the plot? Or is it just a filler scene you like so much?

As you can guess, the last one needs to get out of the story, no matter how much you like it.

Avoid Repetitive Phrases

You don’t need to tell the same thing twice or thrice. Use variety in your sentences. Cut the phrases that describe the same action.

I didn’t need three of those to get the point across. So don’t you!

Cut the filler words

There, here, it cut them out, you don’t need them. Your writing will only be weaker with them.

There were three soldiers standing next to the gate.
Three soldiers guarded the gate.

Avoid long sentences

No need to tell all the action of the scene in one long sentence. It will bore the reader and make him/her confused.

Cut useless details and description from it. And if there is none, just divide it in a few different ones.

When there is some action happening, you need your reader to feel it. Short, fast sentences will get your reader on edge. And even better if you can combine sentences of different lengths.

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