riting needs to be clear and concise. Wordiness makes for a boring read.
Consider the three following ideas and if your writing reflects any of them then I encourage you to be reflective and reduce your word count.
1 Cut out useless introductory phrases. The following examples could all be written without the introductory phrase yet maintain the same meaning. The message is clearer as well.
At that point in time, she had missed her bus.
It seems unnecessary to point out that it is now raining.
It goes without saying that you are late for dinner.
2 Reduce wordiness in the body of a sentence by avoiding redundancy and circumlocution.
In the examples, the first word can be removed and the second word can stand alone without losing its meaning. Examples of redundancy:
Circumlocution literally means “talking around”. The following examples show this type of wordiness; the word that should be used in parentheses:
Ahead of schedule (early)
In the event that (if)
In this day and age (today)
Succumbed to injuries (died)
The reason is that (because)
Was witness to (saw)
At this point in time (now)
3 Avoid the constructions it is and there are, as wordiness always seems to follow. For example:
It is time that heals all wounds.
Time heals all wounds.
There are some writers who cannot help being wordy.
Some writers cannot help being wordy.
There are many persons who find writing difficult.
Many persons find writing difficult.
Avoiding wordiness is essential to our writing. However, I will also say that as I write this the thought crossed my mind that sometimes breaking the rules can create a distinct character. But tread lightly.
Hopper, Vincent F., Cedric Gale, Ronald C. Foote, and Benjamin W. Griffith. Essentials of English. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2000. Print.
(¸.•´ (¸.•* Suzanne Costigan writes middle grade and YA novels. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada with James, her children, three dogs and four cats.