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Tip Tuesday #146

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today's tip was sent in by Rachel Leon who blogs at The Plight of a Fiction Writer. A longer version of her tip is available there, titled Restraint. Please give Rachel a warm welcome and consider stopping by. You can also follow her on Twitter @RachelLeon10. Here she is!
Like many of you, I've read plenty of books about writing and most talk about getting rid of the extra words that weigh sentences down. Sometimes there is an example that does a good job illustrating the problem. I walk away from those books feeling like I will show more restraint and yet my writing continues to be cloudy with unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. I can usually catch them with a thorough edit, but want to learn to eliminate them in my everyday writing.

Though I haven't reached that point yet, I've found a tool that's helping me learn. I avoided joining Twitter for a long time because I worried it would interfere with my writing. Instead I'm finding it helpful as it is teaching me to get rid of extra words that aren't necessary. A tweet can only be 140 characters, so it forces you to be concise. It's a small, simple exercise you can practice anytime.

~Rachel Leon


  1. Thanks so much for the tip Rachel. I've been considering whether I should break down and join Twitter. You're giving me a reason to say I should.

  2. I hope you do, Natalie! I had worried that it would prove addictive, but I'm happy to report that hasn't been the case.

  3. I totally agree! Brevity is key. Twitter taught me to only hit the space bar one time between sentences. In high school (on typewriters), I learned to space 2x, but NOT ANYMORE!

  4. Short n sweet n succinct!!! I like that but I still can't buy into the twitter thing! LOL! Take care

  5. That's actually a really cool use for Twitter that I've never thought of! (And anyone who's on the fence about joining, do it. It's fun.)

  6. I'm the same; it's only in edits that I catch my too flowery sentences. Sometimes getting really angry can be useful because it gets you into a short, sharp, precise mind set. And I agree that twitter is brilliant practise for this!

  7. I joined Twitter but rarely use it. I’d never thought of the advantage you pointed out. Thank you for the tip!

  8. That's true - I never thought about that. I'm still holding out on Twitter though...
    Thanks for sharing your tip.

  9. What an interesting use for Twitter! :)

  10. I've been on Twitter for a bit, but never thought of it that way. But it's so true now that I think of it!

  11. Great tip. Twitter is addicting for me. I have too much fun.

  12. This is very true! Woot! Now I can say I'm training to be a more word conscious writer, not just messing around!

  13. It does work that way! As long as we remember how to actually spell when it comes to our writing projects!

  14. Thanks everyone for all the comments. I'm glad it was useful for those on Twitter (or willing to take the plunge). And thanks for the opportunity to share, Casey!

  15. I have a Twitter account but seldom use it. However, recently when I found I was a little wordy. It took me three tries to get it the information said within the word limit. Thanks for the tip.