Another Immutable Writerly Rule


Treat the below items like the puss filled sebaceous cysts they are and excise them from your manuscript:

Obvious/assumed actions and redundant informational  phrases:

cat animated GIF

  Tricky Dick Mugillacutty picked up a slice of pizza in his hand, brought it to his mouth and took a bite.

Unless gluttonous acts of pizza perversity are in the making (then by all means, don’t skimp on the details; I want a cheesy blow-by-blow complete with a 70s porno  soundtrack,) most people will assume he used his hand to pick up the pizza and it was his mouth doing the biting.

pizza animated GIF


Garlicky tomato sauce shot to the back of his throat. Shuddering as stringy, cream-colored  mozzarella cheese dripped from his chin Dick jumped up, stomping his feet on the floor .

pizza animated GIF

Most people know that mozzarella is a cheese,  so the word  “cheese” is redundant and slows down all that stringy, cream dripping action.  And saying he stomped with “his feet” might be unnecessary (kind of a judgement call…) Are his feet  unique in some way? Abnormally large or hairy? Does he have webbed toes?  And unless there’s a puppy on fire, I’d just assume his feet were stomping on the floor. If you absolutely must tell me what he’s stomping on, be specific… dirt, mud, wet concrete, grapes… slow pygmies.

Crying frustrated tears, Polly lamented.  “Dammit Dick, what did that poor floor ever do to you?”

Crying and lamented are hypernyms, and what else would Polly cry if not tears?

“Nothing! And if that flaming puppy hadn’t been so damned quick, the fire would’ve been out sooner.” Dick declared, retaking his seat in the chair. “And I’d already be balls deep in cheesy crust, getting my oral on with some spicy pepperoni.” Cue fake whammy bar  guitar track.

Dick sat his ass down. Unless there’s a tack on the seat, who gives a fuck about the chair.  I want to hear more about the oral. ‘Nough said.

pizza animated GIF



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