Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I’m continuing with tips to trim excess words from manuscripts.

Beware adverbs and adjectives because they don’t paint vivid pictures. Talked loudly is not as specific as yelled or boomed or screeched. A better choice is to use a more precise noun or verb. Rather than modify every noun with an adjective and each verb with an adverb, choose a more precise noun or verb that is strong enough to stand alone and needs no modification. Remember the three-R rule: reduce, refine, or remove.
Limit detail. Is the shape of the character’s nose or the color of his hair relevant to the story? If not, cut it (the description, not the nose or hair). Readers enjoy creating their own mental pictures of the characters. In picture books, illustrations provide character details.

Is your dialog saying more than is needed? Dialog should promote the plot, reveal backstory or add character traits. If it’s doing more than that, the words are mere fluff and should be trimmed. Is the dialog providing information the reader already knows? Cut redundancy. Repeating information dulls the reading experience.

Deleting excess words as I am writing a scene is difficult for me. The trimming comes with revision, where removing the litter cleans the manuscript.

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

Parallel Ink is your friendly international e-magazine for students, by students between the ages of 12- to 18-years-old. Besides sci-fi serials and fantasy fables, we welcome poignant poetry, quirky rants, discarded love letters, and offbeat text exchanges with open arms (among many other countless gems of literature teens write). We also accept art. Honestly, anything goes if it's creative, captivating, and ready for sending out into the world wide web!
Submission guidelines at
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Third Flatiron Anthologies. "Ain't Superstitious" - Theme involving superstition, e.g., luck, prophecy, magic, rational and irrational thinking, Spinoza, dark times, black cats, Orpheus, the Flying Dutchman, Sleepy Hollow, Tam O'Shanter, astrology, witchcraft, etc.

Reading Period: May 1 - June 30, 2015
Writer Deadline: June 30, 2015
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Submission guidelines at

No comments:

Post a Comment