The Art of Brevity

March 26, 2014 § 1 Comment


scissorsDanny Heitman in the New York Times discusses the challenges and pleasures of concise writing:

What I was reminding myself, I suppose, is that writing is a kind of talk, a discourse that must eventually answer to the clock. In writing, brevity works not only as a function of space on a page, but the time that an audience is willing to spend with you. Even if the Internet has made infinite texts possible, the reader’s attention is not without end.

To shorten my articles, I often worked through several versions, and with a merciless finger on the delete button I could surgically reduce my first draft by half.

The exercise taught me that successful economy of expression often depends on vigorous revision.

The full article can be read here.

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