Writing Less To Say More!

Indie author Kim Cox is standing in the Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight! I invite you to discover this talented writer in her own words! Take it away, Kim…

Words have power - handwriting on a napkin with cup of coffee

Last month I read a few articles about writing less to say more. I’ve come a long way but I still struggle with this. Writing a story came much easier before I learned so many rules about it.

Okay, I’m from the south, born and raised in North Carolina. I’ve lived in the southeast of the United States all my life. I moved to the western part of the state about twenty-seven years ago. I now live in the North Carolina mountains. People move here from everywhere. Most of those I work with lived somewhere else, Texas, New York, and Virginia are three of the places I know for sure.

Being southern, I naturally love to use lots of words to get my point across. I don’t really write flowery or try to use big words but I do talk and write in a wordy manner. Why use two words when I can use five or ten instead. For example, I used to say (until someone made fun of me), “I need to go do that now or I’ll be forgot.” Trying it again in a shorter manner, “I need to do that now before I forget.” Even shorter. “I’m doing it now.” See how easy that was. Not really but you get the idea.

In other words, coming from the south, I grew up in a passive speaking atmosphere. I try my best to write active instead. I even try to talk better.

At work, I write in a business manner, so I’m forever changing the words “You need to” or “You should” to “This needs to be” or “This should be” in order to not come off to others as accusatory.  So, sometimes I have to use more words than are needed to not sound harsh to the person I’m trying to train or explain something to. This doesn’t help my fiction writing where I need to write shorter and less stilted. Business writing is formal, especially the reports I have to write.

Does anyone have a trick they use to keep their writing short and less wordy?

For more information on the subject of Writing Less to Say More:

Write Less, Say More: The Power of Brevity

How to write less and say more

Embracing Brevity: How to Write Less and Say More

Saying It Short: A ‘Less Is More’ Guide to Effective Writing

About Kim Cox

KC - Author PhotoKim Cox is an author of Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense and Romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers–Scooter and Harley, and a Yorkie mix, Candi. Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles.

Sign up for Kim’s Readers List for exclusive information, new releases, contests, giveaways, and free books.

Visit her at the following sites:

Author’s Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com

Blogs: Kim’s Musings, Kim’s Author Support Page

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwrtr

ALL THIS TIME

a

Style & Profile Series – Book 1

At thirty, Jenny Morgan’s biological clock is ticking. But as a fashion magazine CEO with a busy schedule and no significant other, her wish is unlikely to come true. When her father receives a potentially terminal diagnosis, he longs for a grandchild before he dies. With her religious beliefs, a sperm donor isn’t an alternative. Jenny’s only immediate available option is her single co-worker and best friend, Trevor Drake. Can she really trust him to be a good husband?

Trevor has loved Jenny since college, but she only sees him as a friend with no ambition. After he learns of her predicament, he proposes and sets out to prove he can provide everything she needs. Jenny is determined to have a prenuptial agreement with an “out” clause after one year. Can Trevor convince Jenny of his love by then?

As if they don’t have enough on their plate, someone at the magazine is out to stop their wedding and their impending parenthood, and destroy the magazine’s reputation. Jenny is nearly killed in a sabotage attempt. Can Jenny and Trevor to make a life together while uncovering a common enemy?

Available now in print and electronic formats through Amazon Kindle and Amazon Print,  24Symbols, Barnes & Noble Nook, iTunes iBook, Kobo, and Page Foundry.

Read more . . .

Coming up next in the Style & Profile series, book two, BEFORE WE WED: With her family visiting from Atlanta, Sarah Martin is left at the altar when her fiancée, Jon Clayton, is carried off in handcuffs for running a car theft ring. Is Jon being guilty or being framed? If was frame, can Sarah find out who’s behind it without getting herself killed?

SM - Book Cover 

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54 thoughts on “Writing Less To Say More!

  1. Yvette M Calleiro

    “Writing a story came much easier before I learned so many rules about it.” LOL! I can so relate to this statement. I am a wordy writer, and I LOVE it! Wordy writers stand proud! 😉

    That being said, when it comes to publishing, wordiness is not always our friend. :-/ Then, add to that the fact that certain dialects or colloquialisms don’t really make sense outside of our little piece of the world, and writing becomes challenging. My dad was in the Army, so I moved around a lot. When we lived in Mississippi, I absorbed the ya’ll’s and yonder’s and reckon’s into my everyday speech. Then, I moved to Virginia, where those words were not really accepted, and I had to learn a whole new way of speaking. Then, we moved to Panama, and my English turned more into a Spanglish mess. lol! Now, as an adult living in Miami, I think my English is perfectly fine (lol), but I have to constantly check my writing to make sure that the masses living outside of this tiny portion of the world will understand the words that I choose to use. That’s where the beauty of beta readers from all over the world comes into play! 🙂

    I still write with wordiness; I don’t ever think I’ll totally get rid of it (heck, look how long this comment is! lol), but I’ve found that there are plenty of readers who enjoy a story with a little conversational, informal flow. So, I’m gonna reckon that it ain’t so bad after all! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. kimwrtr

      Thank you for commenting on this, Yvette. I grew up near the South Carolina line, so my dialect is more southern than even North Carolina’s. So even my home state population look at me funny sometimes. My oldest son moved to Charlotte. He called me one night to fuss at (or argue with) me for using the word “yonder” because everyone kept asking him, “Where’s yonder?” LOL For those who don’t know, we say, “I’m going over yonder.” which means “I’m going over there.”

      More recently, I had “leaf season” in my book. I had no idea that others wouldn’t know what that meant. My book evaluator who is from a different part of the country questioned me about it. Leaf season is used in the mountains for the season where leaf color changes are at it’s highest. Basically, it’s the fall season, more like late October.

      Liked by 3 people

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    2. chrisgroverris Grover

      A NY editor once told me that one trick to make your writing more concise is in the final read through to take at least one word out of every line. Or as Peanuts once said, “It was a dark and stormy night…” I think I can say that shorter. Right, “It rained.” 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
      1. Yvette M Calleiro

        And that’s why I love wordiness. “It was a dark and stormy night” is so much more beautiful than “It rained.” lol! That being said, I know that TOO much wordiness will drive a reader insane. I guess the key is to find the happy medium. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lizziechantree

    Great blog post Kim. I tend to have to think about adding words to my manuscripts as I often skip long descriptions when I read a book, so I don’t write that way. I do, on the other hand, talk a lot! Having had retail and wholesale businesses in the past, I have got used to having to say a lot in a short space of time, to promote sales. Add this to an Essex accent and you are lucky if you can understand a word! Over the years I have had to train myself to slow down, especially at book talks etc.
    I really enjoy the way you write and don’t think you over expand where it’s not required. I will pop over to Amazon to look at Suspicious Minds and All This Time now. They look fabulous! Thanks for hosting today Beem. Reblogged 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply
    1. kimwrtr

      Thank you, Lizzie. We tend to talk a lot but also talk slow. When people talk fast, I can’t understand a word. With my hearing problems now, it’s even worse.

      I have to remove wordiness and also add description, because like you, I tend to skip over a lot of excess description. I like just a taste, so I tend to not write enough. I like to leave some things to the reader’s imagination. I remember reading the old historical romance books where there would be pages upon pages describing a dress or a painting. I flipped through most of those pages.

      I’m so happy you enjoy my writing.

      Liked by 4 people

      Reply
    2. Yvette M Calleiro

      I also skip over long, descriptive paragraphs. I, too, am a dialogue writer. It’s actually how I write my rough drafts. Then, I go back and fill in the scene. 🙂 The hardest part of writing for me is creating the setting and describing things. I’m glad I’m not the only one who skips all of the fluff. lol!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  3. harmonykentonline

    Another great post, Kim! I’ve found Twitter great for learning to say it in less words, LOL!! 🙂 For sure, if you’re tempted to use ‘was’ or ‘were’, look at it again, because these little devils bring all sorts of other folks to the party, and before you know it, you’ve got a houseful! I’m loving your tour, and hope it’s a good one!
    Beem, thanks for hosting Kim today 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply
    1. beemweeks Post author

      Thanks for stopping by, Harmz! I am one who believes we should seek to slay every ‘was’ and ‘were’ from our writing! Those are lazy words. Cheap fillers. But that’s just my opinion.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
  4. Jan Hawke

    Very interesting post Kim! 😀
    I think ‘less is more’ is always a challenge for any writer (of fiction in particular), because we love the words too much. When I started writing my first novel in earnest, I was lucky enough to find a good editor who was prepared to work with me in instalments, because I was just over halfway through. By the end, I was sending her new chapters as they were ready (after I’d done tinkering with them). The editing actually went faster the nearer to the end we got, because she’d been wrangling my adverb habit like crazy and also been pretty hot on ‘show don’t tell’ too. The lessons I learned during the process, meant I was improving as I went on. We probably won’t repeat that method again ever, but it was very rewarding while it lasted.

    My other bête noir was/is dialogue – I hated writing it because it never sounded natural to me. Doing a lot pen and paper roleplay on a fan community was pretty useful for improving my technique, but what really helped was reading back dialogue out loud…. Well, whispering it to myself if there was ever anyone around actually, but that did help a lot – even when I had to do an accent (very badly usually!). That does work for narrative as well, especially if you like to use ‘point of view’ characters (George R R Martin has soooo much to answer for!)!

    Thanks for having us all over today Beem! 😀

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. beemweeks Post author

      Glad to see your comment here, Jan. ‘Show don’t tell’ is a make or break for me when reading books. If there’s a lot of telling going on, I’m apt to put it down and never return to the book in question. As for dialogue, I find it easy to write. I just hear the conversation in my head, as if hearing it on the street or wherever.

      Liked by 3 people

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    2. kimwrtr

      Thank you, Jan! Very interesting techniques that I will definitely try. My problem is that so much time passes between my writing I sometimes forget lessons learned. I have particular problems with description. In “All This Time” there’s a little seductive dance scene that my normally professional and uptight main character uses to seduce her new husband while on a yacht. She’s trying to get pregnant and doctor’s orders were to relax. Since she has a stressful job as CEO of a magazine, they decide to take a little trip. My critique partner from Georgia read the scene and at one sentence she said, “Kimmy (what she calls me), honey, this is an impossible move. People just can’t bend that way.” Well, something similar to that. I could see the dance in my head, but it was hard to write what I imagined in my mind.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  5. rebeccacarteremona

    I completely understand about the business writing. We are expected to sound more formal. At times it is difficult to write in a more conversational manner. That’s where editing comes into place. Get the story down, then look at the style. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. kimwrtr

      Thank you, Rebecca. That’s what drives me crazy now that I know more. I used to have no problem just writing before I learned so many rules and then going back and fix the problems when editing. Now, it’s harder to turn that internal (infernal) editor off. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. Pingback: Writing Less To Say More! | Kim's Author Support Blog

  7. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Kim Congratulations on winning a spotlight. Stories just flow out of you effortlessly. “Writing a story came much easier before I learned so many rules about it” makes so much sense when you think about it. My first book was not as painful as the second and I didn’t go to school to write it. You deserve to be spotlighted because you are so gifted. Good luck. Hi Beem. Very nice colorful blog.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. kimwrtr

      Thank you, Shirley! You’re so sweet to say that. Same thing happened to me. When I wrote “Suspicious Minds” which was my first book, it seemed effortless. I knew it was missing something but couldn’t figure out what. Plus, it was way too short for a full length novel at about 35K. I joined my first critique group. Well, there was three of us total. They asked the question, “What is he doing when he’s talking? Is he sitting, standing, or pacing the room. That’s what my story lacked, movement. I had narration and dialogue but no description or movement of the character. They were stick figures, so to speak. I was telling the story rather than showing. I had to learn to breathe life into my characters.

      Liked by 3 people

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      1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

        Kim I never actually learned to write either and that is why I am revamping my second book which had more structural issues than I was aware of.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. beemweeks Post author

      I DID miss you. Don’t ever leave us again, Shirley. We get so sad and lonely when you aren’t around. (I totally understand the need to regroup. I may have to do that myself. Feels like I’m treading water sometimes!)

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  8. Marcha's Two-Cents Worth

    I would love to write screenplays because action and dialog come naturally, but I always have to go back to fill in the details, particularly imagery and emotional elements. It’s amazing how something can sound so great when we first write it but when we go back a day or so later we can see it wasn’t so great after all. Except, maybe, for those times when we get on a roll and you can’t even type fast enough to keep up with what’s coming into you head.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. beemweeks Post author

      Been there, Marcha. That’s why it’s always a good thing to walk away from what’s on the page for a few days. Reading it cold after a period of time will either validate us or bring us back to Earth. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. Gwen Plano

    What a great discussion of the art of writing! Thank you all — and congrats again, Kim. You so deserve the spotlight. A special Thank You to Beem….perfect host, always!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. kimwrtr

      Thank you, Joy! I almost missed yours yesterday because I saw Beem’s first. I’m glad I went back later and saw yours listed too or I would’ve missed it. I’ve seen two blogs on one day before but I wasn’t expecting it for some reason. I guess that’s a lesson learned–to always expect the unexpected. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  10. Kev

    I finally got onto your site, Beem. Had to revert to my laptop to do it though. Don’t know what’s going on with my windows 10 pad and this site! Anyway, Good to see Kim here, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. beemweeks Post author

      Thanks for visiting, Kev. You know what they say about tech: Can’t live without it, can’t slap the snot out of it! Okay, “they” don’t say that; I say it. I’ve had all sorts of issues with Windows 10, so you’re not alone on this.

      Liked by 1 person

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