Monday, February 23, 2009

Cutting back

These days, you hear it from everyone. It's time to cut back. Americans are overweight. They need to cut sugar, fat, carbs, etc., (depending on the diet guru) from their eating habits. America is in debt. Our president needs to cut back and eliminate the deficit. We use too much energy. Americans need to be greener in their way of life. Walk or ride a bicycle. Take public transportation or carpool. Buy local produce. Reuse shopping bags.

As writers, it's important for us to cut back and tighten up our writing. What can we do? The obvious choices are to get rid of unnecessary adverbs. Use an active voice, not a passive voice. Eliminate redundancy. Sounds simple, but if you want to keep your story going, it's imperative.

Need some practice? Try writing flash fiction. There are a number of flash fiction contests, most without entry fees. For the most part, the story needs to be around 500 words. As with any story, it needs to be complete with a beginning, a middle and an end. Five hundred words should be easy. Piece of cake. It's not. Flash fiction is tight writing at its best.

Do a Google search for flash fiction contests. Here are some places to look for flash fiction markets: http://resourcesforwriters.suite101.com/article.cfm/flash_fiction_markets
http://themusemarquee.tripod.com/id310.html
http://wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php

Good luck and have fun on your new diet.

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