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Exercise #54

Exercise #54: Craft
Posted 5/7/04

The ability to tighten a piece is a valuable skill. Say you've written an outstanding short story and you know the perfect market. When you review their submission guidelines, you find you've exceeded the allowable word count by double. What then?

For this exercise, write a SUB on any topic you'd like. You can even use one from a previous exercise. Write with no regard to word count...  just until it's done. Is it done? Good. Move on to the next step.

Now cut it in half, or bring it down to 1200 words, whichever is the greater cut. Already 1200 words? Make it 600. Originally 10,000? Make it 1200.  Eliminate those pesky justs and thats. Activate your verbs. Tighten the action. Revise dialog to be more concise. Use words that show us more than they did the first time around.

When you post, remember tell us the original word count.

Word limit: 1200
Please use the subject line:
             SUB: Exercise #54/yourname


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