As I explore the web for writing tips and tricks I encountered multiple references to a set of guidelines by writer/editor Allan Guthrie entitled “Hunting Down the Pleonasm”.
A pleonasm is a word or a phrase that can be removed from a sentence (or a paragraph) without changing its meaning. By looking for and removing such instances you can pare your work to its essence and produce a better product.
I discovered two iterations of his great advice and have included them on the blogroll. The instance I’ve labled Hunting Down the Pleonasm comes from the Scottish online magazine Hi-Arts. The second version (which I have labeled Hunting Down the Pleonasm II) comes from Adventure Books of Seattle. There is some repetition between the two (ironic, I know), but enough difference that I felt the need to include both.
Editing is hard. It is the actual workof writing. Like necessary surgery, it is difficult and often painful but produces a healthier patient. Awareness of redundancy in your writing goes a long way to making it better.