How to Become a Successful Writer - Tip #16
16. Don't overwrite!
For the drafting process, I would say that this is perfectly okay. When I write, I like to include stuff that I know for a fact isn’t going to make it into the book because as I draft, it gives me a lot more content to work with. I look at it as making a sculpture. It’s better to have a lot of clay to work with than not enough. You are always able to carve out and cut down what you need, but you can never add back to it.
Where this tip does apply though is in the actual story. When I first started writing, it was so important to me to sound eloquent, but then I realized that I was just fluffing up my work. Be as simple as possible. If a more expansive word or phrase is needed, then go for it, but don’t go out of your way to sound like a thesaurus. Use common language that someone who just walked off the street can understand. By no means am I saying to dumb-down your work, but don’t overwrite it either. Remember, less is more!