Cut It Up!

Good morning everyone. Hope you all had a lovely weekend. We managed to have a BBQ with family yesterday and it didn’t rain, although the black clouds rolled over thick and threatening more than once (well, we do live in England!).

I’ve not long come back from a holiday in the mountains, with a fabulous view from the guest house window. Looking over the photos reminded me of a writing exercise I put up on our Facebook page a little while ago – if you didn’t see it (or didn’t do it!), why not give it a go now? Go on, make yourself a coffee and give yourself half an hour  . . . (Sorry about the photo, taken with my phone, doesn’t do the view justice. And you can’t hear the sparrows twittering in the tree!)

view from window

This is what you do: Give yourself five minutes (set an alarm), and write a description of what you see out of your nearest window. Write as much as you can! Try to add a bit of atmosphere along with your description.

When the alarm goes off, give yourself five minutes to cut your description in half. Then, give yourself another five minutes to cut it in half again. Keep doing that as long as you can!

When you’ve cut as much as you possibly can, read back over all the versions, long to short. Which do you like best? Why? Have you learnt anything about writing/editing from this exercise?

So what’s the point of doing this? We need to make sure every word in our stories has a purpose. If you have a message you want to share with your readers, whether it’s the love of Jesus, forgiveness, the power of prayer, or anything else, if you want your readers to stick with you to the end, you need to get the pace right.

Too many words isn’t good, but neither is too few . . . So, put the description you liked the best below – go on, inspire us all!

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

Until next time,



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