Editing Tip #13

KISS – Keep It Super Simple

Kiss-stickThis has to be one of the most often used pieces of advice across the board whether you’re a writer, a fisherman, an electrician, or a sanitary engineer – over doing something is not always the best policy.

As writers, the craft is in the balance: details vs. back story, vs. plot, vs. setting, vs. suspense, vs. … well, you get the picture.

Too much of any of these things has the potential to do irreparable harm to your prose.  Like poets, writers of prose need to know when to focus the magnifying glass and when to let the big-picture speak for itself.

When in doubt, cut it out.

Never throw away your notes, though.  If you get the same comment from beta readers and it was an area you decided to ‘cut,’ then you will be able to easily re-insert it later.

You don’t have to be a ‘planner’ to stick to this rule.  Your first draft is supposed to be a mine-field.  Just remember, the clearer and simpler the medium for your ideas, the easier it is for a reader to stay connected and not get lost.

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Categories: Editing

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