Tighten up your writing #2

This post is approximately 450 words. Many of them rewritten.

There are as many analogies about writing as there are fish in the sea. Today’s thalassic comparison will liken writing to lacing up a shoe.

lacing up.jpg

This is a simile I’ve been thinking about as I’m taking the first draft of my manuscript and tightening up the writing.

No, let’s try that again.

As I’ve been editing the writing in my first draft, I’ve felt like I’m tightening up loose shoelaces.

Better, but room for improvement.

As I’m editing my first draft, I often feel like I’m tightening loose shoelaces.

Ahhh, much better.

Writing a post like this is great because it allows me to show the evolution of the writing, literally as I’m writing it. Well, not exactly literally, but you get the point. And I digress.

I’m currently working on the second draft, which means I’m reading a lot of bad writing. That’s fine and was expected. Sometimes that first draft text is just stream-of-consciousness stuff or the channeling-of-the-muse-that-conveys-information-faster-than-I-can-type stuff. It’s loose, much like a shoe that first time your feed laces through the eyelets.

Try again.

It’s loose, much like a shoe as you feed the laces through the eyelets the first time.

Satisfied?

It’s loose, much like a new shoe receiving its first lace.

OK, I could do this all day, but I don’t want to lose your interest. You could wear the shoe like that – laces untied and flopping about – and to be honest, I often did as a kid. But slack laces are no good for running and other shoe-related activities. The same is true for a loose manuscript. Right now, I’m tripping on things all over the place. I also have to move at a slow pace. If I tried to share this with a reader – even my forgiving wife – the story would fall flat on its face because I didn’t take the time to properly edit and rewrite it.

marv-fall-15-feet-on-his-face.gif

Here are examples of how I’ve recently tightened the laces of my own writing.

  • To be able to hold up your character
  • To hold up your character
  • We have taken a look at the performance
  • We have reviewed the performance
  • I was reminded of this quote today as I came upon my own realization
  • I remembered this quote today
  • …and these are some of the things to which I attribute my affection of Tolkien.
  • …and I partially attribute my affection of Tolkien to these things.
  • Generally, the way it works is like this.
  • It works like this

I’m eliminating passivity, wordiness, and ambiguity. And it’s as simple as re-reading what I’d written and changing the bad stuff (technical writing term).

–Michael

Also read: Tighten Up Your Writing #1

Enjoy what you read? Leave a comment or like the post and we’ll ensure that you see more like this from Michael!

© Michael Wallevand, July 2016

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