THE WORD-LOSS DIET is a small book, more like a booklet. But this only means that Hall has heeded her own advice and doesn’t use extra words to pad the page count.
THE WORD-LOSS DIET has one purpose: to eliminate flabby writing. Hall doesn’t get deeply into copyediting issues. She’s here to help writers pick the low-hanging fruit. But that’s not all bad. Eliminating the most common causes of bloated writing is a great place to start.
Hall wants writers to eliminate “crutch” words which can slow the pace and make prose seem clumsy. Words like look, begin, sigh, smile, and wonder are common problems. Writers should also watch out for really, very, quite, just, and most adverbs. Hall gives wonderful before-and-after examples to help new writers get the message.
This is basic information, but any writer who can cut these offending words on the second draft is well on her way to smooth, salable copy. The trick, of course, is to internalize these rules and never write the offending words in the first place. If you’re already there, great. If not, THE WORD-LOSS DIET is a helpful reminder along the way.
rating: 3 stars
pie slices: 8 slices craft
This book is best for: beginning writers
I recommend this book or The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers by Bridget McKenna