No matter how much experience you have with the English language, writing concisely is not easy. It can cause some writers so much frustration that they wish to give up. However, just because it is difficult does not mean that it is impossible. You have to do what you can, and starting somewhere can get you on the right track.
1. Think about Your Audience
It could be said that readers, especially when it comes to the Internet, do not tolerate long and complicated sentences. Many of these readers sport short attention spans. Exceptionally long sentences that do not get to the point will only scare them away. If you want your writing to catch their attention, you need to consider their needs. What are they going to want to know, and how quickly will they need to know it? Put yourself in their place, and adjust how you write accordingly.
2. Reduce Amount of Phrases
You do not need to put a lot of phrases in your writing, even if they look good. Even if this is not your intention, they can clutter up a story and bore people. Instead of using sentences such as “We found that we enjoyed our trip,” use “We enjoyed our trip.” Instead of saying “The cake that we tasted was moist and filling, causing us to ask for a second helping,” use “The cake tasted good and we wanted more.” It does not sound as fancy, but readers will be able to finish the sentence. You will get your point across.
3. Do Not Use Overused Phrases
Some writers believe that succeeding means copying others. They may think that they should be throwing in old and reused phrases such as “As time went by” and “In the event that.” While you should not feel ashamed if you have used them in the past, you should not make it a habit. Do what you can to keep out the clutter. If something does not have a point, take it out. If you are putting these phrases in to push your word count, people will be able to tell. They will not take you seriously and will move on.
4. Take a Break
If you have been staring at your writing for a long time, you may not notice mistakes. You could turn something in or send something without realizing that you have not used concise writing. Instead of working yourself too hard, take a break. Go outside and take in some fresh air. Talk to friends or family members if they are around. When you step outside of that writing environment you will go back feeling refreshed. You can tackle your writing with new eyes.
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