Cut the Clutter. Sound Legit.


Trimming your writing has the benefit of getting your point across to readers without using stuffy sentences and filler phrases. Those are the training wheels of beginning writers, but seasoned professionals can pick them out easily. 

One such weakness to cut from your writing so it sounds more professional is the word “give.” Here are some examples taken from my own writing.

Example 1:

Original – She gives me an appraising look as I enter the room.

Revision – She appraises me as I enter the room. 

Example 2:

Original – She gives a long tired sigh, but smiles at the
end of it.

Revision – Her
tired sigh ends with a smile.

The meaning stays the same, but less time is needed to read and understand the sentence when that awkward “give” is taken out. Unfortunately for me, both of these examples came from the same scene, making a scene that should last only a few seconds take longer than that to read through.

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