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Mar
31
Frank Ball

Throw-Away Words (Part 3 of 4)

Common Problems, Writing Well
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The qualifiers like absolutely, all, always, completely, fully, quite, really, totally, truly, and very may seem important to the writer, but for the reader, they’re empty, void of much meaning and should usually be avoided.

  1. We can’t wait to hear all about your adventure.
  2. Sometimes we are totally oblivious to the fact.
  3. I had a very special bond with my dad.
  4. I had truly convinced myself that this kind of pain was dead.
  5. I was completely unprepared for the day.
  6. I fully expected the police to show up.
  7. I am a totally different person.
  8. The bathroom door always remained open in case I needed a quick getaway.

Since all events occur at a precise moment, everything that happens is immediate and sudden, so immediately and suddenly contain no added meaning. When we describe one event after another, we don’t often need next or then, which is obvious.

  1. The fire suddenly popped and a spark flew.
  2. He immediately knew what to do.
  3. Michael glanced up at his mother and then back to David.
Mar
27
Frank Ball

Shadows

Weekend Fun
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Lindsey Stirling isn’t even thirty years old, yet she has developed a phenomenal talent. We can be sure this happened because she practiced her craft and continues to practice more than what most people are willing to do.
  Talent is overrated. The practice is what really counts. That’s true for musicians, and it’s also true for writers.

Mar
24
Frank Ball

Throw-Away Words (Part 2 of 4)

Common Problems, Writing Well
0

If an action is completed, “began” and “started” are obvious, adding no meaning, and should be avoided.

  1. He began to mumble the words with a mixture of sadness and stoic resolve.
    He mumbled the words with a mixture of sadness and stoic resolve.
  2. We must begin to align ourselves with the truth.
    We must align ourselves with the truth.
  3. We held hands and started dancing in a circle.
    We held hands and danced in a circle.
  4. The men started to run in different directions.
    The men ran in different directions.

We often incorrectly say “try” or “able to” when the goal was to do the work.

  1. We had marched from Georgia to try to turn away the enemy.
    We had marched from Georgia to turn away the enemy.
  2. They were able to imitate the miracle with their secret arts.
    They imitated the miracle with their secret arts.
Mar
20
Frank Ball

Every Life Has a Story

Weekend Fun
0

Behind the façade of looking well, people are struggling, wondering what will happen next.
  This video was created to help Chick-fil-A employees be understanding, to treat their customers with kindness. If we had the kind of X-ray vision to see the conflicts, dilemmas, and mysteries behind the facial expressions, we’d never lack for something to write about.