Trans4mind Home Page

Fight The Fluff!

The first and final rule of quality writing is this: what doesn't strengthen your writing, weakens it.

There are no neutral words when you're trying to be persuasive 'every word must be doing real work and every sentence must be necessary. Don't say in two sentences what you can say in one; don't use five words when you can use three. Don't use a five-syllable word when an available two-syllable word means the same thing. Take the fluff out of your writing.

Fluff is the often subtle cancer that grows 'and ultimately kills 'good writing. If your writing isn't achieving the effects you want, consider a few of the warning signs of a fluff infection:

Redundancy. Analyze your writing for places where you are repeating yourself. It happens often, particularly when the writer isn't convinced that the reader will get the point without it. Give your reader some credit. Make each point once and make it effectively 'and then don't make it again.

Tangents. A good piece of writing is one that makes a single effective point, supported by other lesser ones; anything that doesn't directly contribute to that support structure is a distraction and an excuse to stop reading. Don't take readers on side trips and don't let them catch their breath. Cut out anything that doesn't directly advance the final cause.

Ornamentation. Ornamentation happens when a writer is hit with a sudden burst of creativity, and the writing ends up saddled with clever turns of phrase that don't contribute anything but wit. This is what Hemingway was referring to when he advised writers to kill their darlings 'art is all well and good, but make sure it keeps its day job.

Pointless modifiers. Adverbs (words that modify verbs) and adjectives (words that modify nouns) are a little like salt and pepper 'useful in very small doses, very bad in big ones. They're often used by lazy writers in an attempt to convince generic nouns ("the beautiful, voluptuous woman") and verbs ("he ran very quickly") to do more interesting jobs. The English language is full of precision nouns and verbs; whenever possible, use the right words rather than trying to modify the wrong ones.

Needless qualifiers and hedging. Phrases like "and yet, on balance" and "it could be considered" destroy more confidence than they create. Be direct and write with strength: boldly write what you know, and leave out what you don't.

Pretentious language. Occasionally, we all have a crisis of confidence that leads us to think that we need large words and cumbersome sentences in order to be taken seriously. This is when it is time to take a nap and let the feeling pass; "extraneous solutions that minimally impact positive budget modifications" is never going to sound better than "it won't work because it costs more than it'll make back".

About The Author
Robert Warren is a Florida-based freelance copywriter specializing in the unique marketing needs of independent professionals.

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

The New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd