Thursday, March 20, 2008

Remarkable writing advice from remarkable communication

Sonia Simone's "remarkable communication" blog has some great advice on how to produce...well, remarkable communication. One example: her "5 editor's secrets to help you write like a pro." A sample:

4. Omit unnecessary words.

I know we all heard this in high school, but we weren't listening. (Mostly because it's hard.) It's doubly hard when you're editing your own writing—we put all that work into getting words onto the page, and by god we need a damned good reason to get rid of them.

Here's your damned good reason: extra words drain life from your work. The fewer words used to express an idea, the more punch it has. Therefore:

Summer months
Regional level
The entire country
On a daily basis (usually best rewritten to "every day")
She knew that it was good.


You can nearly always improve sentences by rewriting them in fewer words.

There's more--4 more, to be precise--where that came from.

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