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Eliminate the False Starts

For me, writing has always been a process like (I imagine) pushing a vending machine over. It takes a few tries: you have to rock it back and forth a little before you get what you want. On a sentence level, I often have several false starts when I'm aiming for what I want to say. I'll have sentences like "She was sad, she was wrecked with sadness." When I look back at the sentence, I can see how uselessly baggy and repetitive it is. That's okay; that's part of the process. But the difference between okay writers and great writers is that the great writers always go back and trim out all those false starts. (Read more »)

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