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Irrelevant Details Bore The Reader, Slow Your Writing, and Add 0 Value. Don't Include Them.

Please

In Chapter 1 of “Any Language You Want” I tell about my experience of moving to London and finding a job at Pret A Manger.

I remember getting stuck just after a few paragraphs when writing that story. This is the section that made me scratch my head.

“Hello. I’m Italian and I’m looking for a job,” I said to the guy at the desk.

He smiled.

“Thanks for sharing you’re Italian!”

I didn’t know the meaning of the word “sharing”, so I just gave him an embarrassed smile and said nothing.

The guy was Italian too and he liked my T-shirt. He was a drummer like me and that was enough to get me booked for a trial day. I would have to work for four hours in one of the shops, and if everyone in the team liked me, I would get the job.

After this, I started giving all the chronological details about the trial day (waking up anxious, meeting the manager, starting my shift, etc.) but realised none of that added anything to the message I was trying to convey through my story.

Major roadblock.

Then I found a 3-word solution. I wrote:

I would have to work for four hours in one of the shops, and if everyone in the team liked me, I would get the job. They liked me.

That short sentence allowed my story to continue without boring myself and the reader with unnecessary information that shouldn’t be there.

This is what I wish more non-fiction writers and bloggers would do.

Ask yourself, “Is this relevant?” If it is, then include it. If not, don’t.

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