Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Happy Valentines Day!
Today we’re going to discuss another great
love, the budding story.
You use your imagination to plan the shape of the garden bed the height and colour diversity of the plants, you sow it with care, water and nurture it, but what happens when the plants are finally mature and it’s time to trim?
Redundant words are a curse.They are very much like weeds that appear from nowhere and take root in your precious story. At first you don’t notice them, because they don’t particularly interrupt the flow and that’s how people always speak, so it must be correct. Right? Wrong.
No doubt you are all familiar with the way repeated information sneaks into a story. The same word in three consecutive sentences, or restating information for effect. Every superfluous word reduces the ease with which the reader can traverse your story, and that’s a bad thing. You want the reader so engrossed in the three-dimensional characters and intriguing plot twists that they don’t even
notice the words. Don’t get me wrong, there are occasions when you may choose to repeat words for effect; just make sure it is a conscious choice.
Tautology is just another way of adding pointless words. Using different ways to say the same thing. Repeating information. (Is this getting annoying yet?) What you need to do is prune your garden selectively. Keep the shape of the plants, the colour and fragrance of the blooms, but thin the vegetation and pull the weeds so the reader can easily see the beauty.
Let’s look at the phrase ‘free gifts’. The word ‘free’ is redundant, because by very definition a gift is inherently free. Another commonly used redundancy is ‘sit down’. If you sit, it is assumed that you are moving downward. I’ve highlighted the redundant words in the following examples.
Postpone until later
Here is a great website that lists common redundancies: http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/redundancies.htm
If you want further examples: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/50-redundant-phrases-to-avoid/