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Improve your writing through cutting back

If you don’t know how to begin to improve your writing through cutting back, you might like to do the exercise described below. It will give you a start, and soon you will see how you can move onto looking more critically at other aspects of the story.

– write a story

– change half the adjectives in it

– next, take out all the adjectives including the changes ones

– better or worse?

– take out all the adverbs

– take out unnecessary conjunctions, prepositions

–  now see if any deletions need to be reinstated

– compare versions and choose the best (in your judgement)

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The importance of rewriting

For many writers, the pleasure of writing comes in rewriting. It is not everyone’s favourite aspect of writing,…

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Find the shape of your story

Pick up one of the books you really like – it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction….

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Shaping the flow of writing

This is very odd, but when it comes to non-fiction I like drawing little pictures of the inner…

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Exploring different third person points of view

Write part of a story in the form of a scene from a play, beginning with a description…

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How to radically rewrite

Word processing has been a gift to writers. No more typing out pages and pages of manuscript, no…

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Reconsider, rewrite

Take a piece of writing. It might be a poem or short story. It might be a play…

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Word mapping

1. Choose a word or short phrase which is the subject of the poem you wish to explore….

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Controlling your fear

Thomas Keneally says that, ‘Writing is an exercise in controlling your fear. Above all the fear that you…

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Drafting and editing poetry

Write poetry by hand. Go on, try it, even if you always write directly on the computer. I…

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Cut the fluff

There is, of course, no rule that says you should never write dialogue that looks exactly like real…

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Mark’s top 3 tips – Critical, forensic and persistent

Watch exclusive this exclusive video from author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark…

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