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Note 55 – Cut your work

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – If you would prefer to dive straight into note 55, then please read on…

Tips for cutting your work

I’ve just read a 453 word article by Gordon Wells (Writing Magazine, January 2009) called ‘Cut, cut cut’ where he talks about losing the waffle when writing.  His remit is to write a 450 word column give or take a few words.  Here are some of the useful tips that I’ve taken from the article:

  • Always make sure your work is correct, concise and clear (he calls it the ‘3C’ rule).
  • Use Ctrl-F to find certain words that you don’t need and cut them out e.g. the words ‘very’ and ‘and’ (when cutting out ‘and’ he suggests using a full stop and a capital letter instead).
  • Only use relevant examples in your article.
  • He suggests an average sentence-length of 15 words (maximum 25).
  • Don’t explain something that your readers would know already.
  • Don’t create phrases that really don’t make sense – an example he gives is ‘slightly pregnant’.

My thoughts:  I would have thought that everyone over-writes.  I tend to write freely in my first draft to get all the ideas and points down and then go through a few times and edit.  The article always reads better after a few goes.  Gordon Well’s tips will just improve things more.

I also want to say how great the Writing Magazine is – there are so many articles in there.  I’ve been ‘clutter clearing’ today and found copies going back a few years (hence dipping into a magazine from 2009).  I may need to recycle some, but I’m finding it hard to part with them.

Wishing you a fantastic weekend.

Until tomorrow…


This blog:

My other blog:

My website: (includes the first chapter of my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Writing Magazine, January 2009 (UK)


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer



  1. Pingback: Note 205 – Writing = Structure + Style + Readability + Grammar « My writing challenge - November 21, 2011

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