For this blog post, I thought it would be fun to take a famous speech and work backward, adding unnecessary words and phrases, making it so verbose as to be hard to recognize. I think my effort succeeds in showing how simplifications and reductions of the kind that a good copyeditor routinely makes can help a meandering piece of writing cut to the heart of the writer’s sentiment in a way that is truly memorable. Read the rest of this entry »
This has nothing to do with astral projection or any other form of out-of-body experience…but, inspired by a recent article in Discover magazine, here are five ways for writers to “leave the body.”
- Kick with your feet.
- Listen with your ears.
- Look with your eyes.
- Smell with your nose.
- Think with your mind.
All five of these verbs describe actions performed with, or processes involving, a certain part (or parts) of the body. The crossed-out part goes without saying. So don’t say it! This is what I mean by leaving the body: if the body part that’s doing the action is self-evident or can be guessed at with a bit of common sense, leave it out of your writing. Read the rest of this entry »