Self Editing Tips – 1# – Turf the Non Descript.
Editing and redrafting opens ones eyes to all the lazy, flabby words we are all guilty of using. I’d like to share a tip in tightening up your work and perhaps you might like to add a few more in the comments.
Turf the non-descript words. These are boring, ‘nothing’ words such as ‘nice’ and ‘beautiful’.
Go through the text and on a separate sheet of paper or on a document, list the words as you find them and detail what they are actually supposed to be describing.
A nice person, A nice car? It can mean a myriad of things. Does ‘nice’ mean the personality, the colour, the comfort rating?
A beautiful day, a beautiful girl? We all have different tastes and preferences. I love the soft rain which gently kisses your face in England. I love listening to the pelting torrent on a Queenslander roof. Others don’t enjoy the rain. What is a beautiful day? What time of day is it? Does the girl have blond or dark hair? Short or tall? Heavy set, athletic or slender? Beauty? What’s that constitute exactly?
Non-descript words rob your writing of what makes it unique – your description, flavour and observations. So start to tighten up your work by turfing those rubbish ‘nothing’ words..
Image via Wikipedia
This forms part one of a series of tips on self editing. Please feel free to add to these as we go along.