Scot McKnight has a helpful post (here) on “No, no” words for writers. These are terms that are often overused and lead to clutter.
So if you’re a writer—or a student typing papers for my classes—listen up! 🙂
Scot’s post builds on a book by Benjamin Dreyer (here), in which a challenge is issued:
Go a week without writing
To which Scot adds
It’s not that these words should never be used.
Note my use of “So” above (#Can’t_Stop_Won’t_Stop). But in most cases, they should be cut faster than a University of Kansas grad at an NFL training camp.
THE EDITOR THAT GROANS WITHIN US
I’ve written previously (here) about the helpfulness of a “firm but patient editor.” And I likened that role to the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life.
That post came to mind again as I’ve been editing a manuscript in preparation for a December deadline (Eeeek!).
To be blunt, the“No-no” words are lighting up my page like Christmas lights. Here’s an example of how I was able to cut eleven words (or word parts) from two short sentences.
Not a single nuance was lost, which means every one of those words was bloating my book like empty calories in a bag of Doritos.
My favorite book on writing is the classic by William Zinsser, On Writing Well.
In his words
“Writing improves in direct ration to the number of things we can keep out of it that shouldn’t be there.”
So take the challenge.
And check out Scot’s blog if you’re interested in issues of Bible and culture. It’s great.
My new book, The Mosaic of Atonement, comes out this month! Check it out here.
Like the green “Follow” button to never miss a post.
Signup here to receive bonus content through my email Newsletter (No spam, I promise).