How to avoid cluttering your writing

Editing_and_proofreading_blog_67There are all sorts of ploys you can use to stop yourself using unnecessary words.  One of the easiest is to make yourself a list of banned words. There are 2 key points here:

  1. The list should be short enough for you to remember. It might even be worth phasing the list in a couple at a time. Ideally, alarm bells should go off in your head every time you use a word you have decided to ban.
  2. The words on your list should be dictated by how you write – there is no point banning yourself from using a word that doesn’t appear in your writing very often.

Have a look at your writing & look for candidates for your list. See what words add nothing to the sense, but you still use regularly. It might help to start with this list of 10 words. If you need more inspiration, you could try this list of 200 words.

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About The Proof Angel

I am a freelance editor and proofreader, working with a wide range of clients from large companies to individuals. I can help you to communicate clearly by carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas get your message over. I also have a sideline in textiles, as The Rainbow Angel.
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