Mouse, is a soldier in my “A Series of Zobified Events” novel. He is debating whether or not he should let my main character Levi go from captivity. (Don’t worry, Levi is perfectly human. A trick on the soldiers warranted his capture.) Mouse is talking to another soldier who is afraid that if they let Levi go they will both have a court martial.
This is what the old version was: “They need every soldier they have.” Mouse stood up….
What happens next is crutial to the story, but not what I want to talk to you about.
Mouse stood up. How else is he supposed to stand? Sure I could pull off a Mouse stood to his full height of six four blocking the view of the other soldier if I wanted to add word count. OR I can realize there is only one one way to stand: up. Your reader knows this. Your reader knows that if a person is standing, they are standing up. The ‘up’ is an extra word and even though it is two tiny letters, it slows your book down.
It’s the same as sat DOWN. Now were up to four letters. How many other ways can you delete one word and not lose any of the meaning.
It’s called trust people. Trust your reader to draw on every day experiences to make sense of your words.
Edit ruthlessly and with purpose. Purge ever word you can to make you plot lines move faster with added impact. I know you can.