From time to time, I’ve had clients who over-write.
Usually, it comes from large companies with many partners, mostly law firms.
This occurs where every partner wants to contribute to the website or document. It’s my job as a copywriter to edit and reduce the project to a size where everyone wants to read it.
The first thing I do is to treat the exercise more as one of tightening rather than cutting. Online, sentences are exactly as long as they need to be, not a word more or less. The trick is to make them shorter without losing the magic.
The other thing I do is omit unnecessary words. So I’ll replace phrases with words. For example, “due to the fact that” becomes “because”, “in close proximity” becomes “near” and “with the exception” is replaced by “except”. I also avoid adverbs and I cut out anything that’s repetitive.
I use shorter sentences. Short sentences keep the reader’s attention. The shorter the sentence, the quicker the readers move on to the next sentence.
I use an active voice. That’s because an active voice uses less words than the passive voice. And an active voice makes your writing clearer and more compelling. It helps clients tell a better story.
The other trick is to target paragraphs with widows and orphans. These are dangling words in paragraphs. A widow is a lone word or short group of words that appears at the bottom of a paragraph, column, or page. An orphan is a similar unwanted word or short group of words that appears at the top of a page. I make sure to shorten the sentences to get rid of these.
If you need a copy editor to make your website or documents more readable, phone me on 0411 745 193 or email me at [email protected].