Archives for December 2015

Quick tip: Two words not to use when you write

There are two words that I don’t ever hear people using in conversation, lecture, preaching, or teaching, but writers sure like to use them when they’re trying to explain something or make a point.

You see, people like to use the phrase you see and I’m not sure why. I was reading a classic best-seller last night and found the phrase twice in two paragraphs.

You see, to me the phrase is kind of patronizing and has an arrogant vibe, like the writer knows something that the reader doesn’t so the writer needs to explain it clearly. While this may be true, I feel it’s an unnecessary filler. Go back and take out the two occurrences that I used in this post. I don’t feel they add anything positive, and possibly add something negative, so it’s best not to use these words at all.  You see?

Quick tip: Be a writing doctor

I get to work with many great authors who have great things to say. But sometimes it’s too much for the space required to capture the message. When you’re full, you want to pour out. But unless the message can fit into a container than can hold it, you’ll just make a mess.

Don’t give away all you know. Just say what will accomplish your purpose.

It’s the difference between writing in a diary and writing a book. You can say all that can be said in a diary. In a book, only say what needs to be said to meet the felt need of the reader.

Doctors don’t share with you all they have learned about medicine. They only provide enough information so you can understand what’s going on and what you need to do about it.

Do that when you write. Be a writing doctor and administer your words with precision to address the need. Say what you need to say with fewer words. If your audience wants more, they’ll ask.

So tell your story, make your point, and get out of the joint (as a friend used to say). Don’t get too tied to all you know. God knows how smart you are. Say what must be said and realize that less is usually more.