Exaggeration With No Redundancy…No Redundancy…

Exaggeration With No Redundancy


Mary Deal

When speaking and you wish to get your point across, or call attention to something in the telling, you add emphasis to your enunciation. This can’t be done in writing.

Many writers add a plethora of verbs and adverbs to try to instill the idea of importance to what they write about.

In the three group examples below, which sentence is better, keeping in mind that in writing, word count is all important?

The whole group knew.

Everyone knew.

The whole group all went together.

Everyone in the group attended.

Lots of people believed what we didn’t.

Others believed it.

When you examine these simple sentences, be aware that in your own writing, exaggeration and redundancy may be hiding in the guise of thoroughly explaining. Once you have developed your scene – who’s in it and what they’re doing – repeating certain information is not necessary.

For example, in the second set of sentences, we know we’re dealing with a bunch of people. Not only do we need to use the words “the whole group,” we can also eliminate the redundancy by omitting the word “all.” “The whole Group” and the word “all” have the same meaning, creating a glaring redundancy.

These little nuances hide in our writing and one of the best ways to root them out is to read our prose out loud. If the sentences don’t roll off the tongue smoothly, if you feel you’re repeating yourself, rewrite the sentences. If something in the reading irritates you, it will certainly irritate your avid, educated reader.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre.

About Mike Angley

Mike Angley is the award-winning author of the Child Finder Trilogy. He retired as a Colonel from the Air Force in 2007 following a 25-year career as a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). He held 13 different assignments throughout the world, among which were five tours as a Commander of various units, to include two Air Force Squadrons and a Wing. He is a seasoned criminal investigator and a counterintelligence and counterterrorism specialist. In his last assignment, he was Commander of OSI Region 8 with responsibility for all of Air Force Space Command. He’s fond of saying, “If it entered or exited Earth’s atmosphere, I had a dog in the fight!”
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