Last week, in the list of tips from
Stephen King, two stand out: "Get to the point." and "Cut down
your text." Since this might be a difficult task for a beginner, I
sought good web resources to help make it clearer what King means.
Dr. Charles Darling's, "Guide
to Grammar and Writing," contains a relevant page, titled "Writing
Concise Sentences." Take the time to browse the whole page
right to the bottom (where you'll find three quizzes to help you
practice your technique). On the page you'll find numerous
examples, including a list of clichés to avoid.
Before you go, take a quick look at
William Strunk Jr.'s advice on concise writing.
Vigorous writing is concise. A
sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no
unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should
have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This
requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that
he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but
that every word tell.—William Strunk Jr. in
Elements of Style
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