Friday, July 07, 2006

Muscle, shock...

The editor's secret weapon, which she may never surrender, is the delete button. I used to tell my authors to go through their copy and take three words out of every sentence. The power you gain when you drop words gives you muscle, shock. You sound new and interesting to yourself.

--Harriet Robin, in Good blue-pencil editing becomes a lost art, USA Today, July 2004


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

Tricia, When I began editing your rough drafts, I felt driven to complete your sentences. I'm now learning that life isn't an English composition class, and that part of creative writing is creatively breaking the rules to achieve specific effects, like muscle, shock.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Vicki said...

The beginning writer hates to part with her words, but writing is stronger when we cut the fat. Love your quotes, Tricia!

2:58 PM  
Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

Cutting three words from every sentence REALLY works!

Also, I think being too wordy is the #1 problem for new writers. Remember . . . resist the urge to explain!

Thanks for posting!

9:26 PM  

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