From sentence structure to clichés to pacing, following these ten steps can help you strengthen your writing and improve your editing skills.

  • Keep Verb Near Subject. Don’t delay the action in a sentence.
  • Strengthen “to be” sentences with action verbs.
  • Eliminate those little emphasis eating words.
  • Provide material slowly to hook the reader and control pacing, but don’t hold all the best details until the end.
  • Vary sentence length. Long sentences to build tension and add drama, short sentences to release energy and pick up the pace.
  • Add some action. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that you need to show, not tell, and what better way to do that than with an action.
  • Use specific nouns and adjectives. Vote for quality and not quantity.
  • Convert prepositional phrases into single words.
  • Surprise your audience by turning a stereotype on its head in an unusual and interesting way.
  • Get rid of circumstantial clichés.