You’ve finished writing your first draft and are now you’re charged with the task of revision. In order to create fluid writing, you need to remover clutter from your prose while still maintaining rich language and character descriptions. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that.
Use active verbs
When writing, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using adverbs in place of strong verbs. An example of this would be: he walked slowly into the room (adverb); compared to: He slid into the room. The image created by the active verb is far more evocative and informative. In addition, active verbs help to streamline your writing and create a richer pose.
Balance showing with telling
It’s common to hear writers say there needs to be more showing and it’s true that you should let your characters and scenes speak for themselves through actions and dialogue. However, telling has its place in writing as well. When you need to let the reader know about an event or action that you don’t want to describe, put it into a simple narrative. Using the narrative as a transition to bridge together two telling scenes streamlines your pose and allows it to flow without becoming weighed down.
Though metaphors have their place in pose, it’s important to not overload your writing with them. These clever phases can distract the reader from important verbs that you want to use to force the reader to notice your characters’ actions. An example of this would be: “Her heart stopped like a car slamming into a tree”. If you eliminate the simile you get: “Her heart stopped.” The focus is now on the verb and makes it immediate and powerful, making what the metaphor suggests redundant.
Reduce extraneous words
Pacing is an important element in any pose and this can include the rhythm, cadence, and number and length of sentences. To avoid slowing down your narrative, be mindful of adding on to verbs unnecessarily like “she started to open the door” instead of “she opened the door”. Simplifying sentences and reducing the clutter helps to create a smoother and easier read for your audience.
Ultimately you will want to reduce the clutter in you writing to create a more fluid pose for you and your readers to enjoy.