Another Monday and that means Jan Christensen is back today with another informative post…
THE 10% SOLUTION
Then I followed the 10% “rule” to edit, and guess what--I rather easily eliminated 500 words. One tenth. And yes, I think it's a better story now. Some non-essential stuff is gone. The story itself hasn't changed. I've trimmed several descriptions, and I've found I need to look at the end of each sentence for trailing prepositional phrases and other stray words. I don't use a lot of adverbs or adjectives, but I found several that could go, often replacing two words with one, stronger word.
I've written several flash pieces which were almost twice as long as they had to be to place them. I've whittled them down to the required word count. Sometimes this is a bit too much, but usually it makes for a more interesting, sharper story. And it's a good exercise. Try it, you might be surprised.
However, I decided I couldn’t eliminate another 500 words in that piece without making parts of it unclear. So, I’m looking for other places to send it.
(This post edited for wordiness--have fun finding any extras!)
Jan Cristensen ©2017
Jan Christensen lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has had nine novels and over seventy short stories published. http://www.janchristensen.com