How to use fewer words when you write
Writers often use more words than they need. While it's not “wrong” in a grammatical sense, too many unnecessary words could slow readers down and distract them.
One place wordiness lurks is in modifiers. Here's how you can condense compound modifiers into a single, more expressive word:
- The baby cried loudly = the baby wailed
- Large, opulent house = mansion
- Loudly cheering fans = screaming fans
- Exceedingly large bear = immense bear
And be on the lookout for ways to trim these qualifiers: “Very,” “really,” “actually,” “basically,” “definitely.”
Taken from Clarity is Key: Making Writing Clean and Concise, a Webinar replay by Lisa McLendon at Poynter NewsU.
Have you missed a Coffee Break Course? Here's our complete lineup. Or follow along at #coffeebreakcourse.