I always worry that writing succinctly comes easily for everyone else in the world, but I know it doesn't, or else there wouldn't be so many books and tips out there.
The fact is, no one is perfect. It takes years to be great, and even then it's hard to catch everything. Can you imagine what it must have been like for people who wrote on typewriters, or before that, long hand? Ugh! Painstaking! I read recently in Writer's Digest that an author whose debut book had just been released chose to write on a typewriter, and that when he made a mistake or had to rewrite a line, he would type the whole page over again because it forced him to....I don't know what. I don't get it. Thank God for word processing software and especially for the Find function.
Which brings me to what I do Finds for (Control + F for those who like shortcuts):
- about (especially "about it"--found TONS of these)
- exactly --astonishing amount of these. Ack!!
- finally - one of the most disgusting ones since it's often a sign of redundancy
- just then
- kind of
- sort of
- truly (it was just gross how many I found)
- was (and was there, was it)
Do you guys have any easy tricks for cleaning up your writing?