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On Line Editing

When it gets down to the sentence level, try the following:

  • See how many words you can remove without causing confusion or losing the meaning of the sentence
  • Take a crack at rearranging the order of the words to relieve the monotony of your common pattern (subject, verb, object)
  • Seek  out adverbs that can be removed by using stronger verbs
  • Look for adjectives that can also be removed by using stronger nouns
  • Don't obey any rules about beginning a sentence with coordinating conjunction  (and, but, yet, so, or, nor and for)
  • Ask yourself if the sentence you wrote contains two independent clauses can be two separate sentences? 
  • Ask yourself: Do I really need this sentence? If the answer is no, cut it.
  • Nothing makes a novel better than cutting.