This is an excerpt from an upcoming book in the Writing Advice for Teens series: Editing Fiction. Enjoy!
Every word you write takes time to read. When a reader has to reread something because they got confused, that’s time wasted.
Let’s say that you have a manuscript with 100,000 words. What would happen if we cut that down to 95,000 words by streamlining phrases and cutting unnecessary scenes?
An average reader reads at a rate of about 250 words a minute. Cutting those 5000 words lets your reader finish about twenty minutes faster. If you have 25,000 people read your book, you’ll have saved almost a year of human life. If your book becomes a bestseller and sells a million copies, you’ll save thirty-eight years of human life by cutting out those 5,000 words.
Pretty amazing, huh?
By this logic, the most efficient page would be a blank one. Does this mean we shouldn’t write anything at all?
Of course not. After all, without stories, life would be pretty dull.
As a writer, your goal should be to use words as efficiently as possible. Use simple words and vivid details to let the reader experience your story.
The best books are those where you forget you’re reading, and that’s usually because someone took the time to write efficiently. Strive to be the best.