Literary Engineer
Because reading and writing are my only obsessions

Sloppy Writing 101.34

 
Last week I did up, now I’ll do down. Often times we use down and don’t really need it. Here are my examples from The Proper Way to Say Goodbye where I deleted unnecessary downs.
 
-I dropped down into the seat.
(Well I suppose. You can’t drop up.)
 
-I sucked in the air, hoping nobody noticed the nutcase with her face down on the table.
(I don’t need the down here. If her face is on the table, it’s down.)
 
-Sasha sat at the desk, head bent down towards her papers as I approached.
(Her head is bent, we can assume it’s not to look up at her papers.)
 
-Before I turned the corner down the hall, I took a quick glance back at Sasha.
(It’s really not important that I point out it’s down a ways.)
 
-Kevin sat down and crossed his arms.
(Context: Kevin was standing. So again, there’s only one way to sit and that’s down.)
 
-Brock laughed in my head as I tried to slow my heart down.
(Slow down and slow mean the same thing here, so get rid of the down.)
 
So this time I cut 67 downs. Not a bad number either. The thing is hopefully I’ll catch these words when I’m typing them in my next WIP, instead of having to do it this way.

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3 Responses to “Sloppy Writing 101.34”

  1. Chloe Banks Says:

    This is one of my favourites too. I don’t want to be a party-pooper but chances are you won’t catch all of them next time! You’ll get too into the story when you’re writing it. But you’ll catch some and only have to remove 30 or something at the end!

  2. Lara Schiffbauer Says:

    I have no idea what to call it, but trying to put directionality into a story is tough. Letting readers know the movement in the story without being redundant or over describe always slows me to a snails pace. It’s almost painful, and I still have to delete a ton, and know I still have probably missed a ton, too.

  3. Medeia Sharif Says:

    I’m guilty of these excess words. I’m learning to cut them down, though.

    I like the new look of your blog.

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