Diet, we all need to diet

The-Low-Word-Diet-29Dec12-V1Your baby is finished. You have donated liters of blood, sweat and tears into it, now what? If you are fortunate enough to have an editor in your back pocket that will do your editing, then enjoy it. But for 98% of us we have to do it ourselves. I hate editing, although each time I do it, it becomes less tedious. A good portion of that was because I had the courage to work through Rayne Hall’s book, The Word Loss Diet. It was painful bordering on brutal but it worked.

The Word Loss Diet by Rayne Hall is a must have for every writer. It is a book that walks you through many common mistakes we make without even realizing. It treats our precious manuscript to a forced diet that removes all the extra wordage that we add as filler. In my case it helped identify a number of words that I had a tendency to overuse; words like growled, snarled, quickly and said. We overuse words, sometimes without realizing it. Words like could, should, look, see, smile and said.

The exercises at the end of each chapter teach you to strive for the lean, slim fit and help you identify your ‘problem areas’. It will help you produce snappy dialogue and cut down on your overuse of adverbs and adjectives. Once you have worked through the book, and if you have applied the principles found within its pages, you will find your manuscript has become a polished gem, no longer a diamond in the rough. Most importantly your writing will have changed for the better.

How bad can it be you ask? I don’t use a lot of ‘extra’ words, you claim. I edited 2 manuscripts, aka books, using this format. The first one started with 91,561 words. By the time I was finished I had removed over 5,500 words that were extras and no longer needed. In the second one I started out with 76,761 and managed to cut out over 4,000 words. Yes they are smaller, leaner manuscripts but the difference in the message really impressed me. This book really made a difference.

Rayne Halls’ book The Word Loss Diet is a book for the serious writer, an excellent reference for the published author and an awesome starter for any novice writer who is serious enough to want to improve their craft. But don’t be fooled, this book requires you the reader, the author, to put into practice what you have learned. It will teach you how to edit your work but won’t do it for you. It will teach you how to write a lean manuscript that will make you proud of your work. The choice is yours, learn how to write better or continue working through your in-pocket editors red marks. I just pray there are not so many you can’t read the work before you.

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