Saturday, March 22, 2014

How to Avoid Overwriting

One of the main rules in writing is not to overwrite. Overwriting is over explaining what you want to say. It is composed of unnecessary words, sentences and paragraphs. It is like putting too many spices on your sauce. It is over indulging to things that you want to tell.

So here are some tips:

 Write Simply

 "Vigorous writing is concise,” as William Strunk J.R of Elements of Style emphasizes. It should be brief and must be easily understood by the reader.

Never involve in colloquial terms and jargon languages. It should be written in plain English and as brief and simple as you can.

You also need not to exhibit flamboyance by including unfamiliar words. Many amateur writers do this just to merely show how bright and intelligent they are in terms of their vocabulary, but oftentimes end up misusing those unfamiliar words. Don’t indulge yourself on this unless you’re a seasoned writer who plans to write an entry for Pushcart, Pulitzer or Palanca Awards.

 Do Not Tell Everything

If you are narrating a story don’t tell everything in one sentence. Although you shouldn't break one sentence into two, it is still redundant to tell what, where, when, why and how in one sentence.

For example, don’t say, “Carlo settled himself comfortably in a big, red bamboo chair in front of the TV wedged high in their living room.” Instead simply say, “Carlo settled himself on a big chair in front of a TV.” You can say other details in another sentence or somewhere in the paragraphs as you go along with the story.

 Stick to Your Goal 

Focus on what you are trying to convey. Do not tell something that is not related to the subject or gist of your composition. I myself also have committed the same mistake. I did it without being aware due to some new thoughts or insights that pop in my head and somehow want to continue running my fingers on the keyboard.

 Never forget the general idea of your article or essay. If you notice some of those unnecessary statements on your work, omit them. Do not add anything in between sentences or paragraphs unless there are missing conjunctions, articles (a, an, the), pronouns, etc..., or unless it is really relevant or important to add them.

Say what you want to say during the process of writing your first draft and omit needless words, sentences and paragraphs.

 By doing these tips you can help yourself in refraining from overwriting. It is important to revise your work until you come up with a brief and simple composition.

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