Write with purpose. It sounds simple, but every writer struggles with this from time to time.

Have a reason for putting that dinner scene in your book. Make sure that long soliloquy on the power of music has a purpose for being there. Be intentional about the words you choose in the poem you’re writing.

Don’t just add words and scenes as filler. It has to have a purpose.

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The purpose can be something as simple as you need a way to bring the plot from Point A to Point B. That’s a great purpose. The key is to know exactly why you’re writing it.

This will become even more important at the editing stage once you’ve completed initial drafts. If you’re wondering what it adds to the story, cut it out. If you question why it’s in there and YOU’RE THE ONE WHO WROTE IT, the reader is bound to wonder, too.

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Don’t write just to have pages. Page and word counts are nonsense. Don’t fixate on them. It will take away from your purpose and diminish the impact of your writing.

We’ve all read books like that, where the author seems to be repeating himself. In a self-help book, it’s just the same point over and over. In a thriller, it’s the same action scene three or four different times described in a slightly different way. Sometimes I think the publisher pushed for a longer book and the author was trying to make that happen.

Don’t be that author. Make sure you know why you’re writing what you’re writing.

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Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.