Saturday, February 22, 2014

Short and Sweet: Deflate Inflated Phrases

At the bottom of this post, there is a chart of "Inflated Versus Concise" phrases. If you eliminate inflated phrases like these from your writing, you can reduce your word count and also make your writing more forceful. In the examples below, concise phrases lower the word count by 25%.

Examples:

BEFORE: Zeus deceived Hera on many separate occasions. (7 words)
AFTER: Zeus often deceived Hera. (4 words)

BEFORE: Robin had used the majority of his arrows. (8 words)
AFTER: Robin had used most of his arrows. (7 words)

BEFORE: Cinderella visited the palace on three separate occasions. (8 words)
AFTER: Cinderella visited the palace three times. (6 words)

BEFORE: You must keep this sword with you at all times. (10 words)
AFTER: You must always keep this sword with you. (8 words)

BEFORE: In the event that someone speaks to you, say nothing. (10 words)
AFTER: If someone speaks to you, say nothing. (7 words)

BEFORE: The dragon has the ability to see into your mind. (10 words)
AFTER: The dragon can see into your mind. (7 words)

BEFORE: At that point in time, Rama was living in the forest. (11 words)
AFTER: At that time, Rama was living in the forest. (9 words)

BEFORE: You will remain here until such time as the king summons you. (12 words)
AFTER: You will remain here until the king summons you. (9 words)

BEFORE: Despite the fact that I do not believe in ghosts, I'm still scared. (13 words)
AFTER: Although I do not believe in ghosts, I'm still scared. (10 words)

BEFORE: Beauty returned to the Beast's castle because of the fact that she loved him. (14 words)
AFTER: Beauty returned to the Beast's castle because she loved him. (10 words)

For more strategies to use in reducing your word count while improving your writing, see this list: Short and Sweet Writing Strategies.




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