How to be concise: write less and say more

How to be concise: write less and say more

Posted by Rich Jinks
Picture of Rich Jinks
on 15 October 2015
Advice How to blog How to write Writing

Learn how to be concise: cut the waffle and practice the art of Haiku. Write less and say more and your readers will thank you for it.

Short words are king, shortcuts rule and short copy performs 135 percent better.

If you want to please the TL;DR generation, give them to-the-point, useful advice. No waffle, no tangents, no waiting.

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But, if you write less, you say less, right? Nope, and here’s the proof.

Telescopic Text is a lesson in being succinct. The story you read starts with a simple statement; ‘I made tea’. Each time you click a word, it expands into a few more. Soon, the kettle starts ‘grumbling fiercely’, the digestives go ‘fusty’ and the milk turns ‘muted white’. But what is the story still really saying? ‘I made tea.’

'It seems that perfection is attained, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away' - Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Be concise

When you’re writing informative copy, all excesses should be binned. In other words, your writing should read like a Haiku, not like Dan Brown.

Write less and say more. Good haikus do with a few words what bad copy can’t do with a thousand: they engage you, and they make you think.

You don’t need to cut your creative flair, or ditch any insightful information; those aspects are what make your writing interesting. But, aim for concision, and you'll amplify the effect of your writing.

Even a long blog piece can read ‘short’ if it’s written with focus and momentum. The secret is spending your time writing in a way that will save your readers’ time.

Lose the flab, find the essentials, link useful sources and keep things simple. Edit. Your readers will thank you for it.

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See also: how to edit

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