Word Economy!

So, I was kind of inspired by to write this post because of the little twitter contests that go on nearly every day for the writing community.

Twitter, by nature, is a place where you have to boil down your thoughts into the most succinct way possible. Sure, you can ‘cheat’ by posting a screenshot of a full paragraph, but typically speaking you want to keep your posts short.

While the other micro-blogging social media sites do not have such a word count, there is still an amount of text on Facebook and Instagram where your eyes start to glaze over and you just scroll over to the next video about puppies or tasty looking recipe you’ll Pinterest and Forget.

So what does this mean for your novel writing? It means that your word economy matters.

When you’re in the process of revision, you should really be looking at each sentence and, like you would do for Twitter, boil it down to what it really means. If you have a sentence like this:

Amelia shrugged her shoulders and sighed as she moved to walk across the room to go pack up her things.

Then we have to take that apart. What else would Amelia shrug but her shoulders? Did she move to walk across the room? Or did she just walk there? And do we have to address her actually moving at all? Is it relevant to the scene? could the two actions we have here be condensed into one thought?

Amelia heaved a sigh and went to collect her things. 

It gets the same point across, but it’s cleaner and more succinct. Especially in a ‘transition’ sentence like that, I think it’s important to have the action beat if you’re trying to get between two thoughts. But have the action as quickly as possible so we can get back to the plot faster.

I have a blind spot in my writing as well with this, so let me know if you catch this in your own writing!

–Angelique

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