advice

Tips from the Editor

Precision Counts – Unless Nobody’s Counting

I opened the door to find a stranger standing on my porch. He was 6’2” tall.

There was a redhead sitting on the couch. She was 32 years old.

The room was 18 feet long and 15 feet wide.

There’s no yardstick built into the doorframe. That redhead doesn’t have her vital statistics printed on her shirt.

Tell your reader you’re estimating. Extra points if you tell them how.

I opened the door to find a stranger standing on my porch. I had to look up at him, so he had to be over six feet tall.

I opened the door to find a tall stranger standing on my porch.

That tells the reader what they need to know, without being overly (and awkwardly) specific.

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