Publishing 101: Targeting Passive Text and Redundant Words

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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During the current edit of Fowl Summer Nights, I hunted for passive text and redundant words. It took seven hours to complete. The exercise forced me to write better because I couldn’t use these words as crutches. They’re easy and come to mind quickly, but they often don’t paint a clear picture.

Passive text is comparable to words lying around, taking a holiday or grabbing a nap. They’re there, but they’re not doing anything impressive.

The dragon boy was in the woods looking for some shoes. The shoes were green with golden buckles. The boy began to walk and thought about how very sad he was that he couldn’t even find his favourite shoes. Well he was starting to worry that he might not ever find them. If he just knew where to look to find his shoes and maybe some other things he’d be happy again.

Not exactly animated is it? I might have written like this a few years ago, but over the past decade I’ve created a Target List of Passive Text and Redundant Words. One of my exclusive edits targets these words and eliminates every expendable one.

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