Tighten writing by cutting begin fallacy

To keep up a story’s pace – and hence the reader’s interest – you’ll want to write as tightly as possible. Metaphorically, you’ll squeeze all you can from your words so that a sentence is as compact as possible with no extra, unnecessary words spilling out.

One way to achieve that is to eliminate the begin fallacy. This occurs when the writer introduces an action to the reader by saying “began to,” as in “My nerves began to calm.”

The writer can cut “began to”, however, and tighten the wording by saying, “My nerves calmed”. Notice how it’s not only a shorter sentence but a stronger one because “calmed” is the main verb rather than “began”.