Today’s Writing Tip

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One common mistake of inexperienced writers is to rely too much on prepositional phrases. This is not to say they should be avoided entirely, only that they should be scrutinized to decide if they’re needed or whether the sentence can be reworded to avoid them.

In many cases, they can be eliminated by making it possessive. For example, instead of saying “the trunk of the car” you could say “the car’s trunk.” Other times they’re redundant. For example “He strolled through the trees in the forest, enjoying the aroma of pine needles.” In this case, “in the forest” is most likely not needed if you’ve set up your scene already. Depending on the rest of the scene, “of pine needles” could be a candidate for deletion as well. Or, as noted earlier, make that “pine needles’s aroma”.

The main thing to remember is if anything is redundant, zap that sucker out of there!