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blog Keeping It Short

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Black Dragon, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. Ban

    Ban Troglodytic Trouvère Article Team

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    Ban submitted a new blog post:

    Keeping It Short
    by Karstenberg

    [​IMG]

    You’ve got a short story that goes on too long? A chapter that reads at a dying snail’s pace? A challenge entry that trails beyond the maximum word count? You’re also relatively new to writing and haven’t yet dragged your way through all the millions of writing articles? If yes to the last and anything else to the rest, here’s your article.

    1. Remove all redundancies. I repeat: Remove all redundancies. I repeat: ….

    “Unknown strangers”
    or “asked a question” can be removed right away. While it may sound silly, there’s a good chance you have a few of those rummaging around in your work for you to weed out.

    More significantly you will want to root out the various strings of wordy words writers conjure up. “At that point in time,” can be replaced with “back then,” or even “then,” if the placement in the sentence allows it. “Despite the fact” can be “although.” “Less than great,” is just a polite man’s “mediocre.”

    As a lone appreciator of purple prose I won’t tell you to always cull all of these combos, for there's a time and place for everything and it’s called colle... a long-form story, but if you’re trying to shorten things up these are the first words to go.

    2. Efficient dialogue

    In the same vein as point number 1, this is a case of too many words for too little need. Sometimes...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
     
  2. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Sage

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    Once scrutinized, "unknown stranger" looks pretty absurd. Yet, when I read through it naturally in a sentence, I feel it somehow works. A lot of other phrases follows the same pattern, where an extra word is added as a reinforcement:

    "open air"
    "open spaces"
    "great disaster"
    "nasty sticky slime"
    "brutal, bestial savagery" (Jack London)
    "biting cold"
    "no restrictions whatsoever"
    "terrible tragedy"


    But of course, it's way flowery. I'm not saying that it's the right way to write, only that it seems to serve some kind of purpose.

    Thanks for the warning against name repetitions. I just noticed I'm pretty bad at this.

    One more: The word "that" can often be skipped.
     
  3. Ban

    Ban Troglodytic Trouvère Article Team

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    A combination like "unknown strangers" I would always scrap, because the entire definition of the word "unknown" is contained in "stranger." The same cannot be said for "open air" or "biting cold." Air can be trapped inside a cave, thus not being "open" and it's possible for things to only be mildly cold.

    I'm glad the article helped out.
     
  4. I now have a story itch to write about a known stranger. Not sure yet how he is known or what he does. But he does raise a lot of "what if" questions for me... ;)
     
  5. Ban

    Ban Troglodytic Trouvère Article Team

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    "I was always told 'Don't be a stranger,' but one day I decided I did want to be a stranger. This is my tale..."

    :p You can definitely have a stranger who is known in some sense, plenty of characters called 'the stranger' in fiction, but the focal point of them will always be the unknown part of them I feel, because otherwise the 'stranger' part of them is superfluous. Something to play around with for sure.
     
  6. Charles Moore

    Charles Moore New Member

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    Writing essays has never been my favorite pastime. Although I was given a lot of them. And now, studying in medical school, I have to write them. Only thanks to the best nursing essay writers do I manage to write them perfectly. After reading these tips, I will try to start writing essays on my own. I hope that I will be able to do something. 
     
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