Make Every Word Count

More than a title by Gary Provost, Make Every Word Count should be a mantra for every new writer. Just because readers are willing to read 700 page novels doesn’t mean they are willing to read 700 hundred pages of ill-written repetition. Remember learning how to write non-fiction essays in school? In the intro you told us what we were going to read, in the body, you covered your three or more points, and in your conclusion you summed it all up and told us what we read.

If you are writing fiction I beg you, please don’t repeat everything that has happened each time a character walks in a room and asks, “What’s up?” Your readers are not idiots…please don’t insult them. Especially if  “they” are me. This is why I can’t write romance. I cannot write 300 pages based on the plot that the two people in love are unable or unwilling to talk to each other. I can hold out for, at most, 20 pages before yelling, “Sit down and talk to each other. State your problems. Listen to each other.” If I yell that at my characters, just think what I say to yours!

Make every word count. Writing to a word count is challenging. It requires thought. You need as many words as it takes to tell the story. Can you make the writing tighter and show greater tension by using fewer words? I’m willing to try. Are you?


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