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Just Because

A Little Snip Here

When I wrote articles and submitted them and the stars aligned, a magazine editor would accept on the condition that I cut it back by 200 words or 35 or some percentage.

I understood that they built a magazine on paper, an unyielding rectangle of writerly real estate. It think being asked to cut words is a right of passage in an author’s world.

The Following Articles May Get Us Started Cleaning Up


The Rule of 10 Percent

Tips for Adding Clarity to Your Writing

Reconsider Your Lead.

Another rule I swear by is the Third Paragraph Rule. This rule states that the best opening for any story is typically the third paragraph. Try it. You’ll be surprised. The theory is based on writers not getting into voice until after framing the first two paragraphs.Take a look at some of your work to see if this holds true.

Chris Jones

I am constantly  on the verge of overwriting and starving my story to death. I think too much cutting may actually be too much, but I don’t know.. this is turning into a long nonsensical sentence.


How to Write With a Knife

Writing involves two separate but closely intertwined mindsets: crafting their message and then cutting away everything that’s not their message.

It isn’t easy. As writers, we all have a tendency to fall in love with our words. So here are seven tips to help you cut to the chase.

Michelle Russell
  1. Watch out for “creep-in” words

These are the unnecessary words you use without even realizing it. Two of mine are “just” and “actually.” And yes, it’s actually true that when I read through my first draft of this post, I just went back in and removed several of each


I think Brevity is one of my Long Suits. Many of the Editing Tips in this article will tighten up almost anything I write.

Here are 25 editing tips to apply to your work.

25 Editing Tips for Tightening Your Copy


A few chat room participants suggested we could cut or edit some real examples. I am looking into where to find examples, how to present them and in what format we might edit them. Suggestions are welcome. You have my email. (Maybe, we could work with editing in the Forum Area of the Chatroom.)

Join us on Sunday. Let’s talk about using sharp things.

7PM ET

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