Quick fix tips

Monday, March 2, 2009
Use Find and Replace for quick fixes:

1. Find: That and delete (ie "She pitched her voice so that none of the villagers would hear." You can delete "that" and loose nothing. You'd be surprised how many words you can cut by deleting one word).

2. Find was + ing verbs and delete. (She was starting to hate pizza. She hated pizza. More examples? was looking, was leaving, was following. Cut 'em.) Granted, you can't delete them all, but the more you delete, the stronger you're writing will become--it's less wordy and has less be verbs.

3. Find ly adverbs and replace with descriptive verbs. (She hurriedly picked up the child. She snatched the child. The man fell, crushingly, to the ground. The man crashed to the ground.)

4. Find adjectives and delete. (Perilous dangers. Isn't that repetitive? Despite his exhausted and beleaguered state, the man stumbled on. The man stumbled on--in the context of the paragraph, his exhaustion should have been show.)


  1. Josi said...:

    Excellent points--ing words always get me :-)

  1. It's funny-- all the books say to cut what you're saying to cut, and I wrote my first revision with these tightly controlled.

    I sent the first chapter out to my three random "test readers" (that is, the three readers of my blog who I know read a lot of fiction and asked to see it) and the feedback I got related to wanting *more* adverbs and clarifying filler (like the extra thats).

    {shrug} Go figure.

    Anyway, I've been more relaxed this round of revisions. I figure I can always do find-and-replace later if I need to...

  1. Thanks, Amber! I do most of these already, but it's a great reminder as I'm editing through Monarch again. :)

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