By Bhalachandra Sahaj

Most people think (well, in my opinion) being a writer means to be a person who knows lots of cool-sounding words, can manipulate them easily, and make candy even out of a trivial thought. And though writers can do all that, this is not what it means to be a writer. It’s just skills anyone can obtain by working with writing.

Anyways, such an understanding is not beneficial for aspiring writers. Generally, this approach leads to wordiness (and I’d even call it graphomania), when an author believes the more words he or she uses–in descriptions, dialogues, explanations, and so on–the better their opus will be. wordiness in writing

In fact, professional writing has little to do with wordiness. I like to compare writing with chess. In chess, a player does not make unnecessary moves. In writing, an author does not write something just to make his or her book thicker. Every sentence, every word in the text serves a certain purpose: conveying a thought, creating a mood or an impression, describing scenery, and so on. When the goal is reached, there is no need to mark time, adding more and more wordy ornaments, or showing off by sounding smart.

Superfluous words do not help your reader. On the contrary, wordiness is a great distractor; words are the substance between you and your thoughts, and the audience. The more dense this substance is, the worse. Make sure every sentence you write is as clear, sharp, and precise as you can make it. Use a thesaurus to find words which would help you express your thoughts in the most exact way. Contract dialogues if their only purpose is to create the visibility of interaction between characters.

Wordiness is acceptable sometimes, though. For example, a character of yours can be eloquent and chatty, or it’s your deliberate literary technique that you use from time to time to create a certain effect, and so on. But please, don’t be wordy just because you think that’s what a writer should do. A writer doesn’t just write words, you know.

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