Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Cut the Clunky

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Eliminate unnecessary phrases that make your writing ‘telling’ and wordy.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…


Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.


A lot of writers, even seasoned ones, have a tendency to include unneeded ‘head’s up’ or qualifier type phrases, mostly at the beginning of sentences, that aren’t needed. Eliminating these phrases can make your writing tighter and less telling.

Some examples…

“You’ll never be the kind of woman I need, Victoria.”

Hurt by what he said, she burst into tears. “How can you be so cruel?”

See how the ‘hurt by what he said’ isn’t needed? We know that’s why she burst into tears.

He skirted the building, looking for a back way in. As he did, he drew his weapon.

‘As he did’ isn’t needed. We know he was doing it, so yes, he drew his weapon ‘as he did’ it.

Her gaze scanned the room, stopping on the photo resting on the mantel. In that moment, she realized whose house she was in.

Eliminate ‘In that moment’ – We know that’s when she realized.

Mary opened the door and stepped inside his office. As she entered, she held the stack of papers out to him.

No need for ‘as she entered’ because when she stepped inside, she’d already entered. 


That’s it, just some brief reminders of phrases that can clutter your writing and don’t add anything to the story.

Until next time…Happy Writing!


Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final



*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 



How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here


Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

4 responses to “Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Cut the Clunky

  1. coryellsusan

    Such good advice for us “wordy” writers! Thanks once again.


  2. I just finished a document where I got rid of a ton of filler words. Directional modifiers are big for me (stood up, lay down, etc. And excess body parts (nodded her head, kicked his leg). They do sneak in there.


  3. More great advice and good examples. Thanks!


  4. Diane Burton

    Excellent examples. A great reminder to cut unnecessary words.


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