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FATFREEWRITINGORHOWTOELIMINATEWORDINESSIN10EASYSTEPS

PresentedbyAnnieOortmanandDarleneBuchholz Howtosaythemostintheleastamountoftime. Whyisthisimportant?

Anauthorfrugalwithwordsnotonlywritesamorereadablemanuscript,butincreasesthechances itisaccepted.Editorsareshortontime,sowhynotmakereadingyourproseeasierandfaster? Agoodwritertriestobeinvisible.Goodproseiswritingthatseemsnotwrittenatall.Likea window,youseethroughthewordstograspthemeaning.Thereaderisunawareofthelanguage. Thelessyouwrite,themorereadersread.

Fat:

Forallintentsandpurposes,thereasonRolandarrivedtoolatetosavehisfirstwifes lifewasduetothefactthathestoppedataveryseedybaroutsideoftownthatserved liquidcourage.

FatFree: Rolandarrivedtoolatetosavehisfirstwifebecausehestoppedatabarforliquid courage.

TenEasyStepstoFatFreeWriting
1.

Write.Worryaboutwordinesslater. Marksectionsofyourwritingwhereyoustruggled. Takeabreatherbeforeyoubegincuttingfat. Learnwhatwordinesspatternsaretypicalofyourwriting. Printahardcopyofyourmanuscript.Changetypeface,sizeorcolor. Readyourprosealoud.Readslowly. Markupyourprintout.Fixwordinessissueslater. Avoidgrammarcheckersandeditingsoftware. RepeatSteps2through9.

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10. Getanotheropinion.

Oortman & Buchholz

Fat-Free Writing or How to Eliminate Wordiness in 10 Easy Steps

Eliminateredundancy. Fat:Zarektriednottoanticipateinadvanceeventsthatwouldcompletelychangehisviewof Astridspasthistory. FatFree:ZarektriednottoanticipateeventsthatwouldchangehisviewofAstridshistory. Fat:TonybegantobehavestrangelyandinoddwaysfollowinghistrystwithCeleste. FatFree:TonybegantobehavestrangelyfollowinghistrystwithCeleste.


Deleteintensifiersthatdontintensify. Fat:Basically,Maxneverletshisemotionsgetinthewayofhisverydifficultjob. FatFree:Maxneverletsemotionsgetinthewayofhisdifficultjob. Fat:Forallintentsandpurposes,Briannareallybelievedshedoutrunthemanthatpromisedtokill herherhusband. FatFree:Briannabelievedshedoutrunthemanthatpromisedtokillherherhusband.


Refrainfromimportantsoundingphrasesthataddnothingtoasentence. Fat:Atthispointintime,thispolicyhasatendencytoisolatesomecommunities. FatFree:Thispolicytendstoisolatecommunities. Fat:Legislatorsneedtobemorecarefulofthetypeofpolicytheypropose. FatFree:Legislatorsneedtobemorecarefulofthepolicytheypropose.


Avoidstartingsentenceswithexpletives. Fat:ItwasLucianslaststatementthatfinallypersuadedGracetoleave. FatFree:LucianslaststatementfinallypersuadedGracetoleave. Fat:TherewasalonglineofcondosLisapassedbeforeshereachedTonys. FatFree:LisapassedalonglineofcondosbeforereachingTonys.


Rewritepassivevoiceintoactivevoice(whenpossible). Fat:ThetableclothswerediscardedafterthepartybyCaroline. FatFree:Aftertheparty,Carolinediscardedthetablecloths. Fat:Jamiewaswantedbyeverywomaninthebar. FatFree:EverywomaninthebarwantedJamie.

Oortman & Buchholz

Fat-Free Writing or How to Eliminate Wordiness in 10 Easy Steps

Reduceclausestophrases;reducephrasestosinglewords. Fat:TherealtestliesinthedegreetowhichJaninesseductionaffectedLuc. FatFree:TherealtestishowmuchJaninesseductionaffectedLuc. Fat:DespitethefactthatPrescottwasanotoriousrogue,Edwinacouldntstoplovinghim. FatFree:AlthoughPrescottwasanotoriousrogue,Edwinacouldntstoplovinghim. Removeadjectiveclauses(whenpossible). Fat:ThehorsefarmthatwasontheothersideofTennesseeaskedNoratoworkwithanewjockey whowashiredawayfromDreamcatcherRanch. FatFree:ThehorsefarmontheothersideofTennesseeaskedNoratoworkwithanewjockey fromDreamcatcherRanch. Fat:ChristopherwasdeterminedtoasktheAmericanwhowasonboardtomarryhim. FatFree:ChristopherwasdeterminedtoasktheAmericanonboardtomarryhim. Rewriteprepositionalphrasesintoonewordmodifiers(whenpossible). Fat:TheowneroftheraceteamrefusedtohireAdamascrewchef. FatFree:TheraceteamownerrefusedtohireAdamascrewchef. Fat:ThedepartmentofnursingrefusedtoacceptJasminesapplication. FatFree:ThenursingdepartmentrefusedtoacceptJasminesapplication. Weedoutextraneouswordsorphrases. Fat:BeaucametotherealizationthatheneededaplantoforceCelesteintomarryinghim. FatFree:BeaurealizedheneededaplantoforceCelesteintomarryinghim. Fat:JaninemadeasearchofthebedroombeforeLucreturned. FatFree:JaninesearchedthebedroombeforeLucreturned. Deletemeaninglessadverbs. Fat:Graceconvincinglyexplainedherproblemregardingthewill. FatFree:Graceexplainedherproblemregardingthewill Fat:Arikconsideredmarriageamajorcommitment. FatFree:Arikconsideredmarriageacommitment.

Oortman & Buchholz

Fat-Free Writing or How to Eliminate Wordiness in 10 Easy Steps

Weedoutextraneouswordsorphrases. Fat:BeaucametotherealizationthatheneededaplantoforceCelesteintomarryinghim. FatFree:BeaurealizedheneededaplantoforceCelesteintomarryinghim. Fat:JaninemadeasearchofthebedroombeforeLucreturned. FatFree:JaninesearchedthebedroombeforeLucreturned. Eliminateclichsandeuphemisms. Fat:Kerrigantookalong,hardlookathissituation. FatFree:Kerriganscrutinizedhissituation. Fat:Pamelasclotheshadseenbetterdays. FatFree:Pamelasclotheswereshabby. Removeformsoftobewheneverpossible. Fat:Jakewasconsideredtobethegreatestswordsmaninthehighlands. FatFree:Jakewasconsideredthegreatestswordsmaninthehighlands. Fat:MostofRobinsfamilyfoundherfianctobedistantandaloof. FatFree:MostofRobinsfamilyfoundherfiancdistantandaloof.

Avoidsayingthesamethingtwice. Fat:SincircledaroundthedyingScotinspiteofthefactDermotaskedhimtoleave. FatFree:SincircledthedyingScotalthoughDermotaskedhimtoleave. Fat:JaninemadeasearchofthebedroombeforeLucreturnedat3aminthemorning. FatFree:JaninesearchedthebedroombeforeLucreturnedat3am.

Oortman & Buchholz

Fat-Free Writing or How to Eliminate Wordiness in 10 Easy Steps

WordyPhrases
allof(the);allof(us)all(the);(we)all almostallmost alotofmany,much aslongasif,since asofnowabout assumingthatif atthetime(that)when cometoanendclose,end,finish,halt,stop conductaninvestigationinvestigate,explore,examine despitethefactthatalthough,eventhough,despite duetothefactthatbecause,since,for,as exceptwhenunless giverisetocause,leadto,resultin hasnolacks inadditionalso,and,aswell,further,then,too inanefforttoto inordertoto,for inthepast(days,months,weeks,years)before,earlier inplaceoffor inspiteofafterall,despite,evenwith,although inthe(very)nearfuturesoon,beforelong,inaweek, nextmonth,shortly,thisyear,tomorrow isabletocan notmanyfew notpossibleimpossible notthesamedifferent oneofthea,an,one presenttimepresent,now someofthesome spelloutexplain,specify,describe,detail takeactionact toacertaindegreeinpart,lessso,partially,some useupuse withregardtoabout,regarding

RedundantPhrases
absolutelyessentialessential actualexperienceexperience advanceplanning,advancewarningplanning,warning andalsoeitherandoralso(notboth) askthequestionask basicfundamentalbasic,fundamental clearlyevidentevident,obvious closeproximityproximity (blue,green,red)incolorblue,green,red completelyoppositeopposite continueoncontinue currentstatusstatus doctoratedegreedoctorate eachandeveryeachorevery(notboth) endproduct,endresultproduct,result firstandforemostfirst futureplansplans ifandwheneitheriforwhen jointogetherjoin monthofjanuary,monthofmayjanuary,may moreandmoreoften noneatallnone overandoveragain,repeatedly pasthistoryhistory previousexperienceexperience periodoftimeeitherperiodortime personalopinionopinion personallyresponsibleresponsible pointintimenow,today revertbackrevert sameidenticalsame smallinsizesmall timeperiodtime,period usualhabithabit

Oortman & Buchholz

Fat-Free Writing or How to Eliminate Wordiness in 10 Easy Steps

Trite,Overused&PlainOldTiredExpressionstoStopUsing
allthingsconsidered armandaleg asamatteroffact atthepresenttime atlooseends batoutofhell behindtheeightball bitterend bitterdisappointment blackaspitch bornandraised byandlarge caseofmistakenidentity caughtredhanded checkeredcareer countlesshours crackofdawn creaturecomfort crushingblow curryfavor cutanddried deathsdoorstep dimview duetothefactthat enoughalready everydaylife eviltwin facethemusic fallondeafears fewandfarbetween flatasapancake forallintentsandpurposes forthemostpart forthepurposeof facethemusic giveadamn hasatendencyto hiddenagenda hook,line,andsinker hourofneed inamannerofspeaking inaveryrealsense inmyopinion intentsandpurposes inthecaseof inthefinalanalysis inthenickoftime intheprocessof itseemsthat leapsandbounds lock,stock,andbarrel lovedandlost malechauvinist meaningfulrelationship momentsrespite movingexperience neveradullmoment nolovelost oneinamillion openandshutcase paininthebutt ratrace ripeoldage sadbuttrue safethansorry sandsoftime sickasadog sighofrelief smallworld sneakingsuspicion spittingimage thefinalanalysis thisdayandage thispointintime tiredbuthappy trialanderror triedandtrue trueblue typeof whirlwindtour whiteasasheet withgoodintentions worstnightmare youngandfoolish

Formoreinfo
TheDictionaryofConciseWriting,RobertHartwellFiske. TheDimwitsDictionary,RobertHartwellFiske. 265TroubleshootingStrategiesforWritingNonfiction,BarbaraFineClouse. OnlineWritingLab,http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ LiteracyEducationOnline,http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/ GarblsWritingCenter,www.garbl.com