How to write short, shortened


by Thomas Heath

How to write short, shortened

Last year Roy Peter Clark gave us How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times. It’s a fantastic book … but not that short. There’s one sure way to be concise: use force. 141 characters = no Tweet. So here, forced by another constraint — haiku poetic form— is the short of it:

 

Find good short writing:

Quotes, tweets, curses or prayers.

Learn the tricks. Enjoy.

 

Ask: who is reading?

And what do they want to know?

Then answer them straight.

 

Start with a picture:

Words that conjure the message.

Cut what doesn’t fit.

 

Choose the shorter word:

Aim, go, do, make, fight, love, win.

Less is more. Is more.

 

Use tone to engage:

Find that shared personal space.

Now play it sweetly.

 

End where you began:

Replay the starting message

With extra force. Blam!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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