Top Tips on Cutting Your Word Count

Updated on February 22, 2021

It seems like word count is always against writers. You can’t add too much or too little; you have to get it just right. Sometimes, as writers, we feel like we’re finding a good flow and not being too wordy, only to be far away from our word count. When that happens, you start to find ways to cut down your word count but find, cutting some things takes away from the magic. 

Instead of taking out one of your favorite plot twists or doing away with an important character, try out these tips to hit your word count head-on. 

Check Your Transitions 

Transitions are an essential part of writing. They make your story flow and make things clear for your readers. There are all kinds of transitions, and some writers have a particular style used in every story. While it is great to write transitions, you can also think about leaving them out if your word count gets a little too heavy. 

Leaving out transitions doesn’t take away from the understanding, especially if you plan it out before you add it. For example, adding a large gap in between paragraphs sometimes takes the place of explaining a transition. Just leave a few spaces and begin your story as you would if you had added the transition; your readers will get it. 

Another way you can cut transitions is to leave out all the bulk. Say that you’re writing a super-engaging fantasy tale and are at a scene where the characters transport between realms. Instead of explaining all the small details, just let the reader know that they transported and leave the imagining to them. Think about it this way, if nothing else is happening, and you’ve got a whole lot more to tell, leave it out.  

Cut Down Your Descriptions 

Descriptions are what make books unique. They paint a picture in the mind of the reader and mingle with all of the senses. Descriptions are perhaps the thing that adds layers to your tale and should not be left out. Having that said, it doesn’t mean that you have to explain everything in so much detail. Your readers are not looking for a book full of descriptions; they want something that flows.  

Think about the most critical scenery in your book. What are the essential items, and what are the first things you notice? Those are the most important and should remain. But if you’ve already explained the scenery, don’t repeat it in the story. Descriptions are fun to write and amazing to read but don’t go crazy describing every little detail of every item in your book. Focus only on the critical things and write away. Check best assignment service for a few examples.  

Remove One Word from Each Sentence or Paragraph 

If you have to cut down word count drastically, this could do the trick. Instead of starting with cutting out entire sections or elimination paragraphs that you’re super proud of, start by trimming the fat from sentences and paragraphs. Read through each sentence and find any unnecessary words, and cut them out. Of course, it is crucial to make sure everything still makes sense, so try cutting out words like ‘like’ or ‘really’ or ‘obviously.’ 

Not only will cutting out unnecessary fluff cut down your word count, but it will also make your sentences tighter and flow better. It will create a sharper image for your readers as they read along, able to do away with extra words that don’t keep them imagining the picture of the novel you’re writing in their head. 

Summarize an Oversized Paragraph 

If you see a paragraph or section in your writing that seems too long, go to it and summarize it. While reading over a long section, you may realize that you have dragged on about something, or maybe you have repeated yourself. You may also find that a few sentences aren’t necessary and were only there as a little something extra. Think about the main idea of the paragraph you’re cutting and summarize it instead. 

Cutting out an entire paragraph is often out of the question. Most likely, you have a lot of essential details that cannot be left out. That is why summarizing is the next best option, perhaps cutting four or five sentences down to two. You can find ways to get to your point faster and still make the readers want to turn the page faster. 

When in Doubt, Throw It Out

This tip is especially true if you need to cut your word count drastically. When you’re editing and reading through for things to snip out, think, is it necessary? If you have the slightest bit of doubt, throw it out. This will help you cut down your words exceptionally, getting you close to the amount that you needed to be.

When looking for things that are not necessary, try and keep an open mind. While you may find pieces that are well-written and roll of the tongue beautifully, think about your story as a whole. Sometimes, it hurts to cut out words. You get attached to the way you wrote some things and may find it challenging to take out. But, if you are on a strict word count assignment, you have to cut things out to reach it. 

Remember: Each Word Cutting Project is Not the Same 

While these tips from Write me an essay are recommended, you will likely not use each one for each project. Remember that every writing assignment is different, so cutting words from them will be too. It is best to read over and mark or highlight excessive words or unnecessary words, taking those our first. Starting with words and sentences, you may be lucky enough to leave all of the content in. 

If you’re not so lucky, and the word count needs to be reduced dramatically, then you’ll have to start cutting content. This is not the end of the world, though. With special attention to the plot and the story as a whole, you’ll be able to make decisions without cutting out the most important stuff. Never underestimate the power of summarizing and getting to the point instead of elaborating at every chance. 

Meeting word counts can sometimes be a challenge, one that not too many writers are excited about. To cut out the bulk and get right to the story to hit word count, try our top tips for cutting your word count and watch as your story unfolds.  

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