Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
How to Kill a Word
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

How to Kill a Word

7,894
views

Published on

An ebook that shows people how to tighten up their writing.

An ebook that shows people how to tighten up their writing.

Published in: Education

5 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total Views
7,894
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
35
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
42
Comments
5
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. How toKillA Wordby Patrick E. McLeang o o d w o r d s r i g h t o r d e r. c o m
  • 2. How toKillA Wordby Patrick E. McLeang o o d w o r d s r i g h t o r d e r. c o m
  • 3. How toKillA Wordby Patrick E. McLeang o o d w o r d s r i g h t o r d e r. c o m
  • 4. Ernest Hemingway, editing in Cuba circa 1940.
  • 5. “ The first draft of anything ” is shit. Ernest Hemingway
  • 6. “If you catch an adjective, kill it.” Mark Twain
  • 7. “If you catch an adjective, kill it.” “ Revising down to the bare essentials is Mark Twain always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” Stephen King
  • 8. Why do all these writershate words so much?
  • 9. The businessadjective, kill it.” of writing,“If you catch anrightly understood, is largelya matter of killing words.
  • 10. The businessadjective, kill it.” of writing,“If you catch anrightly understood, is largelya matter of killing words.
  • 11. The businessadjective, kill it.” of writing,“If you catch anrightly understood, is largelya matter of killing words.
  • 12. It’s a sad fact of modernexistence that nobody hasenough attention. In fact, it.” “If you catch an adjective, killsome thought leaders arereferring to this as the age ofdistraction.
  • 13. It’s a sad fact of modernexistence that nobody hasenough attention. In fact, it.” “If you catch an adjective, killsome thought leaders arereferring to this as the age ofdistraction.
  • 14. It’s a sad fact of modernexistence that nobody hasenough attention. In fact, it.” “If you catch an adjective, killsome thought leaders arereferring to this as the age ofdistraction.
  • 15. Each additional word you use demandsmore of a reader’s attention. Whiletransitionscatch an adjective, kill it.”nice, “If you and style tricks are oftenthey involve a ruthless and unforgivingtrade-off. Beyond a point, additional wordsmake it harder to get to your point.Assuming you have one to begin with.
  • 16. Each additional word you use demandsmore of a reader’s attention. Whiletransitionscatch an adjective, kill it.”nice, “If you and style tricks are oftenthey involve a ruthless and unforgivingtrade-off. Beyond a point, additional wordsmake it harder to get to your point.Assuming you have one to begin with.
  • 17. Each additional word you use demandsmore of a reader’s attention. Whiletransitionscatch an adjective, kill it.”nice, “If you and style tricks are oftenthey involve a ruthless and unforgivingtrade-off. Beyond a point, additional wordsmake it harder to get to your point.Assuming you have one to begin with.
  • 18. Introduction to Poetry by Billy CollinsI ask them to take a poem I want them to waterskiand hold it up to the light across the surface of a poemlike a color slide waving at the authors name on the shore.or press an ear against its hive. But all they want to doI say drop a mouse into a poem is tie the poem to a chair with ropeand watch him probe his way out, and torture a confession out of it.or walk inside the poems roomand feel the walls for a light switch. They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.
  • 19. If you are writinganything other thanpoetry...
  • 20. Introduction to Poetry by Billy CollinsI ask them to take a poem I want them to waterskiand hold it up to the light across the surface of a poemlike a color slide waving at the authors name on the shore.or press an ear against its hive. But all they want to doI say drop a mouse into a poem is tie the poem to a chair with ropeand watch him probe his way out, and torture a confession out of it.or walk inside the poems roomand feel the walls for a light switch. They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.
  • 21. I want them to waterskiacross the surface of a poemwaving at the authors name on theshore.But all they want to dois tie the poem to a chair with ropeand torture a confession out of it.They begin beating it with a hoseto find out what it really means.
  • 22. When you edit, you wantto interrogate each word.
  • 23. When you edit, you wantto interrogate each word.
  • 24. When you edit, you wantto interrogate each word.
  • 25. If you find one that isunclear, mumbles, orotherwise doesn’t haveits story straight...
  • 26. If you find one that isunclear, mumbles, orotherwise doesn’t haveits story straight...
  • 27. If you find one that isunclear,
  • 28. Delete it with extreme prejudice.
  • 29. Delete it with extreme prejudice.
  • 30. Delete it without further ado.
  • 31. Delete it without further ado.
  • 32. Kill it.
  • 33. Like this:
  • 34. However, some chairs are morecomfortable than others. In fact,some chairs are downrightuncomfortable. Some have itchyfabrics, uncomfortable seatbottoms, and awkward side arms.ey can be excessively big orobnoxiously small.
  • 35. However, some chairs are morecomfortable than others. In fact,some chairs are downrightuncomfortable. Some have itchyfabrics, uncomfortable seatbottoms, and awkward side arms.ey can be excessively big orobnoxiously small.
  • 36. However, some chairs are morecomfortable than others. In fact,some chairs are downrightuncomfortable. Some have itchyfabrics, uncomfortable seatbottoms, and awkward side arms.ey can be excessively big orobnoxiously small.
  • 37. Some chairs are downrightuncomfortable. ey can have itchyfabric, uncomfortable seat bottomsor awkward side arms. ey can betoo big or too small.
  • 38. That’s still not greatprose. But it’s stronger,faster, better.
  • 39. That’s still not greatprose. But it’s stronger,faster, better.
  • 40. That’s still not greatprose. But it’s stronger,faster, better.
  • 41. ere is much conversation in dogcircles about why the American Pit BullTerrier is only recognized by the UnitedKennel Club and not the AKC and whysome dogs are dual registered in bothkennel clubs.
  • 42. ere is much conversation in dogcircles about why the American Pit BullTerrier is only recognized by the UnitedKennel Club and not the AKC and whysome dogs are dual registered in bothkennel clubs.
  • 43. ere is much conversation in dogcircles about why the American Pit BullTerrier is only recognized by the UnitedKennel Club and not the AKC and whysome dogs are dual registered in bothkennel clubs.
  • 44. Why is the American Pit Bull Terrierrecognized by the United Kennel Clubbut not the American Kennel Club?
  • 45. Any other questions ornuances of breedclassification go inadditional sentences.This question seems tobe a better way to beginthe paragraph.
  • 46. Any other questions ornuances of breedclassification go inadditional sentences.This question seems tobe a better way to beginthe paragraph.
  • 47. Any other questions ornuances of breedclassification go inadditional sentences.This question seems tobe a better way to beginthe paragraph.
  • 48. Any other questions ornuances of breedclassification go inadditional sentences.This question is seems tobe a better way to beginthe paragraph.
  • 49. When looking at your model week andyour sales process, you have to askyourself how that activity is going tocontribute to bringing you closer toyour goals. A good sales manager wouldkeep you from rationalizing. ey wouldkeep you honest and prevent you fromputting more emphasis on activities thatyou like over activities that actuallygenerate the right outcomes.
  • 50. When looking at your model week andyour sales process, you have to askyourself how that activity is going tocontribute to bringing you closer toyour goals. A good sales manager wouldkeep you from rationalizing. ey wouldkeep you honest and prevent you fromputting more emphasis on activities thatyou like over activities that actuallygenerate the right outcomes.
  • 51. When looking at your model week andyour sales process, you have to askyourself how that activity is going tocontribute to bringing you closer toyour goals. A good sales manager wouldkeep you from rationalizing. ey wouldkeep you honest and prevent you fromputting more emphasis on activities thatyou like over activities that actuallygenerate the right outcomes.
  • 52. Still too damn long.
  • 53. Still too damn long.
  • 54. Still too damn long.
  • 55. Still too damn long.
  • 56. Still too damn long.Still too (I’ll keep working.) long.
  • 57. When looking at your model week andyour sales process, you have to askyourself how that activity is going tocontribute to bringing you closer toyour goals. A good sales manager wouldkeep you from rationalizing. ey wouldkeep you honest and prevent you fromputting more emphasis on activities thatyou like over activities that actuallygenerate the right outcomes.
  • 58. When looking at your model week andyour sales process, you have to askyourself how each activity willcontribute to move you closer to yourgoals. A good sales manager would keepyou from rationalizing. ey would keepyou honest and prevent you fromwasting time on activities that won’t getyou where you need to go.
  • 59. When looking at your model week, askhow each activity will move you closerto your goals. A good sales managerwould prevent you from wasting time onactivities that won’t get you where youneed to go.
  • 60. And there’s still more that could be done.
  • 61. And there’s still more that could be done.
  • 62. And there’s still more that could be done.
  • 63. It’s not always so“If you catch an adjective, kill it.”complicated.
  • 64. You can instantly and dramaticallyimprove your blog writing skills andimmediately explode your profits andskyrocket your online success byfollowing the spectacular, simple, andpractical tips found in thisgroundbreaking new free blog post.
  • 65. You can instantly and dramaticallyimprove your blog writing skills andimmediately explode your profits andskyrocket your online success byfollowing the spectacular, simple, andpractical tips found in thisgroundbreaking new free blog post.
  • 66. Sometimes you get to“If you catch an adjective, kill it.”kill all the words.
  • 67. “If you catch an adjective, kill it.” :-)
  • 68. How to Start the Slaughter1. Read it catch an adjective, kill it.” “If you out loud.2. Cross out all the adjectives and adverbs.3. Read it out loud again.4. Rewrite so it makes sense.
  • 69. “I am more suspicious of adjectives than at any other time in all my born days.”Carl Sandburg, aged 81
  • 70. Omit Needless WordsVigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain nounnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences,for the same reason that a drawing should have nounnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.is requires not that the writer make all his sentencesshort, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects onlyin outline, but that every word tell.William Strunk and E.B. White
  • 71. Omit Needless WordsVigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain nounnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences,for the same reason that a drawing should have nounnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.is requires not that the writer make all his sentencesshort, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects onlyin outline, but that every word tell.William Strunk and E.B. White
  • 72. Omit Needless WordsVigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain nounnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences,for the same reason that a drawing should have nounnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.is requires not that the writer make all his sentencesshort, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects onlyin outline, but that every word tell.William Strunk and E.B. White
  • 73. “ There’s no sentence that’s too short in the eyes of God.” William Zinnser
  • 74. “Be precise in use of words, and expect precision of others.Watch for error,even in Holy Scripture”Pierre Abelard
  • 75. Please direct all questions, comments, rude“If you catchaboutadjective, comma, andremarks, rants an the serial kill it.”requests for speaking, group classes, individualcoaching or command performances to:patrick@goodwordsrightorder.com
  • 76. If you liked this e-book –“If you catch an adjective, with it.”more importantly, if you agreed kill it –please share it with everybody you knowand a few people you don’t. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  • 77. If you liked this e-book“If you catch an adjective, with it.”more importantly, if you agreed kill it –please share it with everybody you knowand a few people you don’t. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  • 78. If you liked this e-book“If youimportantly, adjective, kill it.” –– more catch an if you agreed with itplease share it with everybody you knowand a few people you don’t. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  • 79. “If you catch an adjective, kill it.”