Monday, January 2, 2012

Righting your Writing: PIN number and Redundant Descriptions

One of the things about virtual betas is you sometimes  never know what you're going to get, and as someone who already gets anxious over email, having "beta" in the subject line frightens me more.

It turns out, the beta I sent my novella to was pretty fantastic. Not only did she give my positive criticism, she gave me a lot of helpful editing tips for my next round of self-edits.

One of the tips was about redundant phrases. Honestly, I never paid much attention to editing for these before because I was worrying about more important things. But weeding out redundant descriptions is a great way to tighten up your writing and make it more terse.

See what I did there? Tightening up your writing means it is more terse, so terse was superfluous.


Other examples from my own writing include:
burning flames- of course flames burn
condescending snear- a snear is a condescending look.

I've also noticed in my YA when I'm describing the advice column my MC writes for, I often put the column name before it. I mean, like every single time. Redundancies, like repetitiveness, are like hitting your readers over the head with these:
Don't Do It! (or wear these, please)
You can find a list of common everyday redundancies here:

They have ATM machine and PIN number, which reminds me of my days in high school financial literacy. My teacher really loved to point out the "number" was the "N" in PIN.

Check your own work and see what you can come up with! Have any silly ones? Let me know!


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