Posted: March 24, 2010 in Uncategorized, Wednesday's Writing Tip
Tags: , , , , , ,

Resist the urge to explain.

The fun of reading is letting your mind conjure up pictures and stories.


Don’t deprive readers of that. Say what you have to say with the least amount of words.

Pretend words are money and be economical.

If you write dialogue that goes:

“You pig! I hate your guts and I’m going to stab you in the eye with a screwdriver!”

Do your really need to say:

John was angry and he didn’t mind showing it. His voice echoed down the hallowed halls and reverberated back at him. Mary was surprised and frightened. John’s voice was not only loud but it was also filled with more stress than the waistband on Oprah’s jeans.

No, you don’t.

Trust the reader. They’ll get it. If they don’t you’re using weak words.

Use stronger ones and stop boring us.

  1. Jen Forbus says:

    What did Oprah ever do to you? The poor woman takes a beating here…

  2. Mark Terry says:

    But, Toooommmmmm! Words ARE money!

  3. D. B. Dean says:

    Also resist the urge to narrate things unimportant to story line. just read a book that included her trips to the store to fill the time in between meeting with suspects.
    I was all done reviewing my notes so I took tommy to the store and bought him a cookie. Then we sent to my friends house nd discussed the case as trisha the dog licked little tommies face. And then we drove home and I cooked dinner for my husband.

    There is setting the scene to get the look and feel and presence of the environment. But you dont need to narrate every step taken. “And then I went to the bathroom”.

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