Good copy: Trimming your prose

good copyThe other day, I found myself writing “new innovations” without thinking. I’ll be saying stuff like “very unique” next.

Seems to me, I’m beginning to lose my touch. I wonder if my drink-induced brain damage is beginning to take effect. Or maybe I’m writing too much. I nearly wrote “just writing” then. I have a tendency to stick “just” in front of statements. There is no “real” need for it.

Or there is no need for it.

The point I’m trying to make is that you should avoid adding words to other words that add nothing “really” to the meaning.

I do it all the time in a first draft. It’s not a crime. You won’t be sent to prison for it. But your prose will be a lot tighter if you get rid of such things altogether.

Cooling adjective and adverb fever for good copy

  • Don’t overdo the descriptive words.
  • Take a look at the noun or verb you’re adding it to and ask yourself: Does this word need anymore emphasis. The answer, if you’re honest, will probably be no.
  • A loud bang: Really? Is there a quiet one?
  • A sudden bang: As opposed to what? A gradual one?
  • A distant bang: Okay. You can have that one. It adds more information and is fine with me.

Top tips for copy writing: Trim all the fat. Develop a ruthless streak with your prose and it will be better for it.

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