Write like a freight train.
Try to remove “that,” “had” or any of its derivatives. “You’ll find that you can often live without them.” vs. “You’ll find you can often live without them.”
Actually, remove every word you can. You can live without them.
When possible, place adjectives and adverbs before the words they modify. Be on a continuing mission to boldly split infinitives which have never been split before.
A colorful word is better than a colored word. When possible, replace adjectives with meaningful nouns and adverbs with meaningful verbs. “It’s a big mess.” vs. “It’s a debacle.” “Fournette ran hard through the line.” vs. “Fournette muscled through the line.”
Deliberately use adverbs. Long, descriptive, meaningful chains of modifiers can subtly and delightfully overwhelm the reader’s working memory. If you want your readers to process with abundant attention, dutifully remove adverbs. If you want your readers to be gleefully hypnotized, happily unpack your favorite adjectives and adverbs. Continue reading →