Unnecessary words: try not to waste valuable space by including unnecessary words. Instead, aim for clarity, brevity and impact. Always.

I want to address something which often confuses people. When you grasp the idea, it can make your writing more succinct and reduce ‘waste’ (i.e. unnecessary words).

A quick example:

‘If John should walk, he will be late.’

How about this…

‘Should John walk, he will be late.’

Most people don’t realise that sentences can be written in this form. But I think it reads far more succinctly and, like I say, does away with waste, which you should always strive for. Every word on a page should earn its right to be there.

Here’s another example:

‘If I had known that, I would not have gone.’

I prefer the same thing written like this:

‘Had I known that, I would not have gone.’

Of course, how you write should…

a) sit comfortably with you (after all, it’s your work and your name on it); and

b) express your message as clearly and succinctly as possible

Remember: clarity, brevity, impact. Always.

Good luck with your writing!

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