Here’s a quick post about a rule I stumbled across while researching a blog article. Most writers know that good writing depends heavily on rewriting, and part of rewriting involves cutting out unnecessary elements. The term comes from a famous quote made by Anton Chekhov, “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

Of course this doesn’t just apply to actual rifles. Limit your descriptions, tangents, and plot points to those that have some relevance to the story.