Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Creativity Tips: Edit. Everything. Again.

Here's a quick look behind the scenes at Creative Instigation:
  1. Develop idea for a post.
  2. Write it.
  3. Edit it -- cutting as many words as possible.
  4. Edit again. Cut more.
  5. Proof.
  6. Post.

I have the attention span of a gnat. And I'm not alone. Reread everything you write this week -- from stories to emails -- and cut *words you don't really need.

*Example: I had cut the words you don't really need. I didn't need the in that sentence. It's a little word, but every word you cut makes a difference.


Burcu said...

Jaann:) If i were a native English speaker, i could do that. But (among my posts in the blog) it's a bit diffcult for me. Because i try to improve my English by writing something in English. What if i cut the words and don't use them?Wouldn't it be disadvanage of me?

Mike Brown said...

Jan - Because of you, I've grown in appreciation for smaller word counts and the work to get to them. The most cut word in my writing is "that." "That" shows up many times in first drafts, yet seems to be cut 90% of the time.

Is there a word you find typically winds up being cut in your editing?


Jan said...

Hi Burcu and Mike:

Burcu: Your English is amazing. For someone who speaks English as a second language, you do better than many who are native speakers. Don't worry about cutting words. There are exceptions to every rule, and you are exceptional!

Mike: Thank you! "That" is a good word to cut. I'm not sure I have a typical word for cutting, but I go back and tweak verbs to strengthen sentences.

For example, that phrase (I go back and tweak verbs to strengthen sentences) started as: "... I have a tendency to go back and make verbs active ..." I cut two words while adding impact. Always good!