Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trite Expressions and Redundancy...On the Way to Concise Writing

When writing, one of the most challenging tasks is to avoid trite expressions and useless words. From telling a story to composing a letter, or writing that master's thesis, your writing must be concise.

Let's start with those pesky, trite expressions, also referred to as cliches, such as "blind as a bat" and "face the music". No matter our dedication to avoid them, they seem to sink their way back into our subconscious and pop up in our writing like the sneaky little critters they are. Face it, they are nothing more than the result of lazy writing.

The idea would be to find a unique and creative substitute that makes your writing your writing. And it's obviously not easy. Who said writing was easy? No wise person I know would. At least to achieve quality writing. For example, instead of "he raised his eyebrows" why not "his eyebrows formed a question mark when he couldn't figure out what the clue meant". Just play with your words a bit, try to describe the action or thought as concisely as you can. Here is a site to read and study about cliches and redundancy:

Of course, I don't expect you can avoid all cliches, but if your writing is crowded with them, you've lost the opportunity to show your individual style. You owe that much to yourself, if you are going to call yourself a writer.

No comments: