5 Ways To Get Your Book Lean And Fit

5 Ways To Get Your Book Lean And Fit


Writers Write is a writing resource. In this post, we suggest that it’s time to get your book lean and fit.

Summer Is Coming

It is spring in the southern hemisphere and I sniff at the steam rising from my cup-a-soup. I sniff in the hope that it lasts a little longer. I sniff in anticipation of the flavoured water that will do nothing to sate my hunger. And when I am done with my cup-a-soup, I get to chew a lettuce leaf. A whole one. Yes, that is the price I must pay for my winter indulgence.

All it took was one moment in a tiny cubicle with concave mirrors and fluorescent lighting. There was no place to hide. I was exposed – on all three sides. I wanted to update my previously mentioned floral spandex for a sportier model, but the only problem was there was nothing sporty about the bits it would have to encase. So I’m faced with the cup-a-soup and the lettuce.

I have noticed a similar thing with my writing. It’s flabby. It’s wobbly and there is way too much of it. My writing needs some lettuce.

I have mentioned before that I exercise as much as I can and that it’s not my favourite thing. Well, my writing needed some of that too.

How do I get my writing lean and fit? This is what I came up with.

5 Ways To Get Your Book Lean And Fit

  1. More showing, less telling. Using dialogue helps.
  2. Cut unnecessary adverbs and adjectives.
  3. Re-evaluate my scenes. Make sure each one has a goal. Cut the ones that don’t.
  4. Cut my word count. Say more with less. I’ll try to keep my scenes between 800-1500 words.
  5. Make sure every sentence, every scene, even every word, advances the plot.

Counting words and counting calories are both equally horrible, but in the end, it’s worth it. So, lace up your trainers, get rid of the junk food, use an eraser or hit delete and get your body and your book into shape.

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course.

by Mia Botha

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