Early in my writing career, I had a really big problem. The problem is that I was excessively wordy. Don’t get me wrong here, I still struggle with it. Words are our tools. Improperly used, the words don’t build something beautiful. They build a mess that is hard to read.
Wordiness comes in several forms. The version I have been struggling with for years is sentence length. That comma was an appealing as a way to convey a thought exactly as it might appear in my head. Unfortunately, that meant run-on sentences. Any time a sentence spans more than perhaps 20 words, it is time to step back and really consider it carefully. Said with 21 words. I always did enjoy irony and did say that I still struggle with it. The maximum should probably be 25. It should never be common.
Seriously, looking back at some of my earliest writing is painful. I had one sentence that literally made the entire paragraph. A whole paragraph. Let that sink in for a minute. Interestingly enough, I have seen this happen in far too many self-published works. Don’t do that. There’s never a reason to do so. Take a minute to read through your work with an eye for sentence length. See how often you go past 15 words. How often do you hit 20? If you hit 25+, fix that immediately.
Don’t wait. Go on. I am interested to know who among you finds out they are wordier than they thought. Are you wordy? Let me know below if you have struggled with this issue as well.