We all know an excessively wordy person. I’m one. 😉 I want to include every detail when I’m telling a story or writing. I don’t even realize I’m often repeating myself. Most people do this unconsciously when they write passionately—anything from texts to posts to books. But repeating yourself and adding unnecessary details bores the reader. Simplicity and conciseness is most effective. Let’s look at ways to eliminate wordiness and get right to the point.
Example 1: CUT EXTRA WORDS
If you happen to be one of those people who are talented musically or you enjoy music, you might be interested in knowing about an upcoming concert next month. I’m a musical person, so I’ll be part of it. We are a group comprised of twenty-one musicians who play all kinds of various instruments, and we write all of our own original music. We’ve also had the privilege and enjoyment of recording two albums of our songs, and those albums will be available for purchase at the concert. If you come up and say hello to me, I can give you a discount on the price if you want to buy our albums. I hope to see you there!
1. “If you happen to be one of those people who are talented musically or you enjoy music” can be shortened to “If you enjoy music”
2. “you might be interested in knowing about an upcoming concert next month.” can be shortened to “come to our concert”
3. “I’m a musical person, so I’ll be part of it. We are a group comprised of…” should be changed to either be written from the “I” viewpoint or the “we” viewpoint, plus it can be shortened quite a bit to “I’m part of a group of…”
You get the idea!
To the point:
If you enjoy original music, come to our concert next month. I’m part of a group of twenty-one musicians who play a variety of instruments, and we’ve recorded two albums of original songs. Come up and say hello to me! I can give you a discount if you want to buy our albums, and I’d really enjoy seeing you!
Example 2: SAYING THE SAME THING SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS
My friend Deena has a wonderful service dog to help her. He’s a Golden Labrador named Bungee, and he’s called a “Seizure Alert Dog” or a “Seizure Assistance Dog.” Deena has epilepsy and can go into a seizure at any time. It’s very dangerous for her, especially if she’s alone or out somewhere. Actually, it’s dangerous all the time. So Bungee is extremely valuable to her. He can alert her up to an hour ahead of time that she is about to have a seizure. That’s amazing that he can tell she is about to have a seizure that far ahead of time! So that gives Deena enough time to get somewhere safe and take her meds. Bungee is an amazing service dog who gives Deena the ability to prevent seizures or to take precautions when one is about to start. Bungee is really valuable to her being able to go places and do things without fear. But Bungee is not only her service dog, he is also her best friend.
To the point:
My friend Deena has epilepsy. Fortunately, she has a wonderful certified “Seizure Alert Dog” to help her. He’s a Golden Labrador named Bungee, and he can alert her up to an hour ahead of an impending seizure. That gives Deena time to take precautions or preventative medication before one starts. This allows her to go places and live her life without fear. Bungee is not only her service dog, he is also her best friend.
Example 3: WE GET IT, NO NEED TO EXPLAIN FURTHER
Stubby was only twelve, but he was already a wanted criminal. He grew up in a gang-infested neighborhood, seeing shootings and stabbings and robberies and all kinds of terrible crimes from the time he was a little kid only three years old. His parents divorced and left his two older brothers to care for him. They took him around with them whenever they did their dirty deeds. They even used him as bait and didn’t care if he was hurt or anything. They started him on drugs and alcohol early. Stubby excelled at surviving street life because that was all he knew from when he was a little boy. He knew how to use every dirty trick to commit crimes and joined a notorious gang. He was ruthless and cruel and vicious. Because he was raised with crime and drugs, he did many terrible things. He was feared by those on the streets until one fateful day when he was shot to death—by the most unlikely person.
To the point:
Stubby was only twelve, but he was already a wanted criminal. Growing up without parents and raised by two older brothers in gangs, Stubby learned street life from the time he was three. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol early. He’d been included in shootings, stabbings, and every kind of crime. Part of a ruthless and vicious gang, Stubby was feared by those on the streets until one fateful day when he was shot to death—by the most unlikely person.
Savvy Writer Tip:
We all tend to be long-winded when writing, trying to make sure we get all the details in. However, our rambling can bore readers, plus it’s unnecessary. Take some time to tighten up your writing. Cut extra words, don’t repeat yourself, and assume your readers have intelligence and can “get it” without long explanations. Simplicity and conciseness is most effective. Get to the point! 🙂