Ali Luke reports:
"Have you ever read a book that was way too wordy?...The content itself might have been good – but the substance ended up buried beneath a froth of unnecessary words. Perhaps you found it hard to stay focused, or you simply stopped reading. When you write – especially if you’re writing online – it’s important to avoid waffle. At best, a vague and waffly piece won’t have a strong impact on the reader. At worst, you’ll not only lose readers, [but] they’ll [also] mentally note you down as a writer to avoid. So, how do you go about cutting the waffle from your writing?...Whatever you’ve written...you need to figure out what belongs and what doesn’t. Hopefully, some of this happened at the planning stage, but your ideas may have shifted while you wrote. Have you included a chapter in your ebook that should really be a separate blog post? Does your novel have a scene which just doesn’t fit? Would your blog post be more powerful if you took out that long explanation in the middle and made it into a separate piece? This isn’t about how good your writing is. You might have crafted a beautiful scene for your novel … but you may realise [sic], when rewriting, that it simply isn’t going anywhere...Look for paragraphs that don’t belong – especially anything that’s repetitive. If you’ve said the same thing twice, do you want that repetition for emphasis, or can you just cut it? You’ll want to check for any waffly paragraphs...Again, this isn’t about the quality of your writing. You might have opened your short story with five paragraphs of detailed description … but however wonderful the words, you may well decide that you need to cut straight to the action...This is the stage that writers tend to think of first: cutting the flab from every sentence...Watch for phrases like:
Writing and editing can be pretty rigorous processes if you want to do them well, but that's what this page is here for. Check out the latest tips here.