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GPM - Redundancy

Looking for a way to cut word count?
Here's a quick tip...

Anytime you have a prepositional phrase after a noun that elaborates on the noun, make sure it's necessary for clarity and not a 'GWS' redundancy. (GWS = goes without saying)

He cut a path through the throng of people.

The primary definition of throng is a crowd of people. If you've already established there's a crowd, you can write He cut a path through the throng.

Same goes for verbs.

He sat down becomes He sat.

She stood up becomes She stood or She rose.

Not only will this streamline your prose and economize words, it'll keep those busy, intelligent readers happy.

What writing redundancies are on your pet peeve list?

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  1. I'm so glad you brought this up. It's one of the first things I do in my editing (and boy am I redundant). A lot of times redundancy can be found with the conjunction "and." I read so many stories with "blank" and "blank," where the two blanks are synonymous, e.g., "His chalky complexion was pallid and sallow." There were three examples of redundancy in that, but you get the gist.

    Good topic today!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  2. I never need to cut word count but I do need to cut redundancy.

  3. This is good info, Melissa. My pet peeve is "He nodded his head." Why not just "He nodded?"

  4. Good thing to be aware of. I'm sure I'm quite guilty!

  5. I have the habit of using "dropped down" and I still don't catch myself, even though I know it's redundant. I do typically catch "rose up" though.

    I love ProWritingAid because it points out a lot of those redundancies for me.

  6. Fantastic tip! I definitely let a few of these slip through (as you know LOL), but it's definitely a trick I use to keep my writing concise.

  7. Thanks for the tips. I will be keeping them in mind the next time I update my blog.

  8. Ooh, I think I use stuff like that a lot. I wish it wasn't so hard to find it in my own work.

  9. I'm with Quanie. Nodding his head is my pet peeve!

    Great topic, Melissa! :)

  10. Hey Melissa,

    I would never use redundant sentences. Never would repeat the same meaning within one sentence. At this moment in time, now I end my comment......

    Gary :)

  11. My CP is really good at catching mine. And adding them when needed. Obviously this is one of my issues.


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