how to avoid fluff in writing

Proven & Effective Ways to Help You Avoid Fluff Writing

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Fluff Definition: What is Fluff Writing?

Hmm… So some of you have come across the phrase fluff writing and are wondering what it means. Interesting question… very interesting indeed. We’d like to answer it for sure, because, why not? After all, that’s the reason why this blog exists on the World Wide Web!

Wait!

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See, the draggish introduction I wrote that simply beats around the bush, actually gives a practical example of fluff writing, and what it means to engage in it.

To present a more definitive explanation, it can be explained as the style of writing wherein a writer goes off the topic, commenting and speaking at length about something irrelevant, or when they deliberately write long sentences with redundant words to increase the word count of a blog.

This is specially a common practice among inexperienced writers, which is why finding a content writer is easy, but finding a quality content writer is difficult. This is why people turn to us for their content marketing needs, because our blog writing services team ensures to avoid fluff for creating high quality content.

Let’s look at some more examples of fluff writing.

Fluff writing

Fluff Writing Examples:

Example #1: Today, after four hundred and sixty-seven days later, which is about sixty-six weeks, or fifteen months, we have been finally told by that blessed man on the television that according to the forecast, it will rain heavily on this land that is now dry and burning with scorching heat.

Example #2: It was a cold breezy night, and the grass in the park was green. It felt cold against my feet, as I walked on it bare foot, without wearing the shoes that prevented me from experiencing this beautiful connection with mother nature.

Example #3: The old man did not have any teeth, absolutely none. I know this because he smiled at me, a smile without a single tooth, all gummy, making me think of how a child looks like in infancy with a similar toothless smile. Then, the man picked up his fake teeth from the desk, and placed them in his toothless and gummy mouth for he needed them to munch on his meal.

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What are Fluff words and Fillers in Writing?

When writers unnecessarily repeat a word/adverb or repeatedly use synonyms to describe something, you can regard such synonyms and phrases as Fluff Words, because they only take space without adding any value to the writing.

Another word for fluff in writing is filler, which is self-explanatory because of how fluff words are used to “Fill” more space and increase word count. This is the reason why communication is one of the major skills to put on a resume, because to communicate effectively one must know how to construct cohesive and coherent sentences.

So, in short, fluff writing is an umbrella term and fluff words and fillers are the elements that create the structuring of fluff sentences.

Examples of Fluff Words in Writing:

  1. Mark was really really hungry, so he ate all the donuts.
  2. Ellen kept shouting louder and louder but they still could not hear her.
  3. I literally fell down the stairs.
  4. My iPhone Storage was completely full after downloading the video.
  5.  All ten of my fingers were busy typing the email.
How to avoid fluff in writing?

How to Avoid Fluff in Writing?

Better than spending your time on copyediting and proofreading the best course of action is to be aware of common mistakes that lead to a fluffy writing. So, make a guideline to help you avoid fluff and fillers during the writing process.

However, you must remember that it takes time & practice to mould your writing style. And while it’s important to remember avoiding these mistakes, one mustn’t take too much time into writing a foolproof content. Instead, you must write first, and then edit. Moreover, in case you’re short on time or are unsure how to improve your content, consider reaching out to us for we provide editing and proofreading services at a reasonable cost.

Passive Voice Creates Fluff Sentences:

One of the foremost things to remember if you wish to avoid fluff writing is to consistently use an active voice. Otherwise, it could be difficult to follow, this is writing in a passive voice is now considered obsolete even in highly specialized research papers.

One of the simplest ways to be on guard against passive voice is to avoid writing sentences that contain words such as “be”, “been”, “to have”, “were”, “are”. Usually the use of these words creates a much lengthier sentence, which could have been said in a more concise manner in the active voice.

  • The ball had never been thrown so far out of the stadium by Brian Lara.

Brian Lara never threw the ball so far out of the stadium.

  • T20 matches are liked by many people.

Many people like T20 matches.

  • Alexa’s training regimen had been kept up for more than two months.

Alexa had kept up her training regimen for more than two months.

  • The Lion, having been kept in a zoo for so long, may not survive in the jungle.

Having kept the lion in a zoo for so long, Arnold wasn’t sure it could survive in the jungle.

  • Every night, the mall is mopped and dusted by the janitors.

The janitors mop and dust the mall every night.

It’s apparent how the active voice has made the sentences shorter and more easy to comprehend. Adapting an active tone throughout the writing process can increase the readability of your text.

Meanwhile, unnecessarily lengthier sentences can make readers question why the writer isn’t straightforward, something which very badly reflects the writer’s inability to produce quality writing.

Avoid Fillers and Fluff Words

Use Power Words:

Words that allow readers to picture and not just read what you’ve written are called power words. These are strong action verbs that aptly describe an action, without depending on superlatives.

By replacing these weaker and overused verbs with apt action verbs your writing will not only become concise but will also come to life with words that create strong imagery, without the use of adjectives and adverbs which were taught to us at a very young age, but have turned into a lifelong habit.

Look at the following sentences and notice the magic of power words:

  • Enraged, Alex shut the door very loudly.

Enraged, Alex slammed the door shut.

  • I performed well in all my exams.

I aced all my exams.

  • The zombie house was a very scary experience.

The zombie house was a bone-chilling experience.

  • The policeman ran after the thief.

The policeman chased the thief.

  • I do not like to write hastily and carelessly in my journal.

I do not like to scribble in my journal.

The above examples perfectly showcase how a power word can perfectly depict an action without the need to describe it with adjectives and adverbs. Moreover, these action verbs are quite

Eliminate Redundancy:

Writers must ensure to avoid redundant words and sentences that repeat a given information. If we are elaborating a briefly described phenomenon mentioned earlier, doing so is fine as we build our content structure by linking each heading and topic with another.

For instance, we often mention what we are going to discuss in the introduction, but avoiding redundancy does not mean that you shouldn’t follow this approach. By avoiding the repetition of the same words and sentences, we mean avoiding them when their use doesn’t add value to the content.

  • My little brother threw all of my t-shirts, jeans, and jackets out of my closet.

My little brother threw my entire wardrobe out of my closet.

  • I study in a school that only has boys and no girls.

I study in an all-boys school

  • Enraged with anger, he left the house.

Enraged, he left the house.

  • Nervousness is an emotion that often shakes my confidence.

Nervousness often shakes my confidence.

Using more precise nouns and words that can describe a number of things listed together can help you better convey your message. Also, removing the very obvious information from a sentence can also help make your sentences sound professional.

No-Fluff Writing Uses Contractions:

Contractions are known to be a part of spoken English, and students are often told to avoid them when writing in a formal style. But, it’s important to remember that possessive contractions are acceptable and increasingly preferred now, because these contractions can make your content more readable and concise.

  • The injustice of the criminals.

The criminal’s injustice.

  • The howling of the wild wolves.

The wild wolves’ howling.

  • Prose and poems of 21st century authors

21st century authors’ prose and poems.

Unless you’re using contractions such as “Shouldn’t” or “Couldn’t” that are always avoided in formal writing styles, it’s all good to use possessive contractions.

Avoid Overused Expressions & Figure of Speech

Use of expressions, figure of speech, clichés, and conversational fillers should be avoided when writing.

  • Sometimes it so happens that despite differences, people come together for a just cause.

Sometimes despite differences, people come together for a just cause.

  • It can also be possible that they did not like the house.

Possibly, they did not like the house.

  • Hmmm… well, I suppose you should avoid having an ice cream with a sore throat.

You should avoid having an ice cream with a sore throat

  • He works as hard as a horse.

He works diligently.

  • You all should stop coming up with excuses.

You all should stop making excuses.

  • To be able to show kindness by praising someone for their hard work is admirable.

Showing kindness by praising someone for their hard work is admirable.

The above examples demonstrate how expressions and figures of speech can unnecessarily make your sentences wordy. In some cases, removing the phrase helps make the sentence clear, whereas sometimes replacing a phrase with a single, apt word, can help convey a message more effectively.

Fluffy Writing Contains Generalized Statements:

A common mistake that leads to a fluffy writing is our use of generalized statements that fail to describe something properly. Use of words such as good, amazing, pretty, and exciting give a very vague picture to the readers.

Quality writing is not about writing short sentences, rather it’s about the correct usage of words, and in cases where being more elaborate could help the other person understand something better, it’s best to use a lengthy phrase in place of a vague word.

  • The book was good.

The book had rich vocabulary and a captivating narration.

  • She looked amazing in that frock.

Her blue velvety frock suited her complexion and complemented her light blue streaks.

  • All these boxes look the same.

All these boxes have the same size and color.

  • Eating chickens is not safe for our health.

Eating broiler chickens is not safe for our health.

While you may feel that these sentences contradict our emphasis on writing concisely, you should keep in mind that it’s best to be more specific when the other person would appreciate the clarity of information.

Fluff writing disturbs the flow of an argument, and hinders it from moving forward, but as mentioned earlier, if being descriptive adds value to your content and helps take the argument forward, you should definitely be more descriptive.

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To Sum It Up:

As time is passing on, the newer generation is becoming more and more distant from the habit of reading. In such a scenario, when writers indulge in fluff writing it makes the reading experience disappointing and draggish. By following the guidelines we’ve discussed in the article, writers can begin working on their writing style to successfully eliminate fluff and fillers.

FAQs

What are fluff statements?

Those statements that fail to move the argument forward and do not provide any valuable information to the reader are considered fluff statements.

How do you get rid of fluff in writing?

We can get rid of fluff in writing by avoiding passive voice, generalized statements, and redundant words and sentences that are repetitive or do not add value to the content.

What does too much fluff mean?

Too much fluff refers to the use of unnecessary and repetitive details that do nothing but increase the word count of a text.

What are fluff books?

For many people, books that have light-hearted content, merely written for entertainment purposes, are regarded as fluff books. These are just to help the reader kill some time, and do not provide any substantial value to the reader.

What are fillers in writing?

Fluff words are also called fillers for they are meaningless and are only used to increase the word count.

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