Getting the Words Right: 39 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Theodore Cheney

By Theodore Cheney

Whilst requested through the Paris overview what pressured him to rewrite the finishing of A Farewell to palms 39 instances, Ernest Hemingway answered, "Getting the phrases right." His resolution echoes what each winning author is familiar with: the key to all strong writing is revision.

For greater than two decades, Getting the phrases correct has helped writers from all professions rewrite, revise, and refine their writing. during this new version, writer Theodore Cheney deals 39 detailed methods you could enhance your writing, together with how to:

create delicate transitions among paragraphs
correct the invisible faults of inconsistency, incoherence, and imbalance
overcome difficulties of transferring viewpoint and style
express your principles in actual fact via trimming away vulnerable or additional words
You'll improve present items and each destiny paintings by way of making use of the 3 basic principles—reduce, rearrange, and reword. as soon as the secrets and techniques of revision are yours, you possibly can persist with Hemingway's lead—and get the phrases correct!

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Example text

If not—those pictures could be a kid’s erector set in a bathtub. ” She took a deep breath and plunged ahead. ” “But …” “If I get in touch with my magazine, this story could be in next Monday’s issue. L. L. was convinced they did. She told him to face the fact that his government was not going to help— they were going to have to go directly to her editor with the photographs, Simon, and him. Although the summary lacks impact, character development, immediacy, and emotion, it leaves out none of the essential facts and offers fourfold reduction in the number of words (from 223 to 54).

Hemingway: Getting the words right. I have always loved that response, so this book is about thirty-nine or more ways to revise your drafts until you get the words right. … Since it would be difficult to always repeat that litany, revision does it well enough—because of its etymological roots. Revision says it clearly, as you, the writer, must periodically re-look at what you’ve written. Then, as you see it anew, you’ll probably find at least something you can revise to make your piece more accurate, more concise, more helpful, more euphonious, more humorous, more serious, more in keeping with the times, more appropriate, more dramatic, more heart stopping, more memorable, more—or somehow better—than the words that had originally arrived in your fevered brain to convey to the world the vision your mind had seen.

After all, this was the leading chapter, the one that would hook the reader. By objective standards, it was well written. A professional writer (whom I hated and didn’t believe at the time) pointed out a problem—it did nothing for the story. He then sprinkled salt into the wound by adding that the story really began with chapter three. An entire year later, I recognized clearly how right he was, and I unceremoniously excised chapter one. Chapter three (revised to include information lost in the excision of chapter one) moved to the opening position; chapter two became part of a flashback within chapter five.

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