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Posts tagged with: tighten your writing

How to Get “Tight” (Ruby Reprise)

“Needs tightening.” My least favorite comment.

I hate tightening.  Hate it at the gym.  Hate it with my household budget.  Really, really hate it with my writing.

I love the luxuriance of books, the lavishness of language.  Back in first grade, I always needed extra sheets of story-paper for Writing Time, and never got around to drawing the stupid picture.  My very first completed romance-novel chapter?  Thirty-five pages long.  Yup, thirty-five.  Even Charles Dickens would cringe.

Years ago, I submitted that chapter to the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot contest (I blush to remember), and a very patient judge responded:  “This is great stuff, but pick up the pace!  Readers won’t be willing to work this hard.”

Ouch.

The good news:  I heeded that advice.  Trimmed those 35 pages to 13.  Kept up that pace for a 369-page novel, which finaled in the 2009 Golden Heart. And I never forgot the lesson.

Here are a few tips on saying more with fewer words:

The Latest Comments

  • Addison Fox: Elisa I so agree. The “whore” I was referring to was gaming the system with plagiarism....
  • Elisa Beatty: Great point. Do they even bother to copyright? Would be interesting to do some digging and see what...
  • Elizabeth Langston: Does anyone know how these marketers/ book-packagers/ not-authors copyright the books that...
  • Elisa Beatty: It’s just so revolting that people not only do this, but teach others how to do it....
  • Elisa Beatty: Supposedly Copyscape and Grammarly can do this…I haven’t checked them out myself. But, yes,...

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