Presentation on theme: "Conciseness The art of amazing writing.. Definitions (www.thefreedictionary.com): Concise - Expressing much in few words; clear and succinct. Succinct."— Presentation transcript:
Conciseness The art of amazing writing.
Definitions (www.thefreedictionary.com): Concise - Expressing much in few words; clear and succinct. Succinct - Characterised by clear, precise expression in few words. Precise - Clearly expressed or delineated; definite. Terse - Brief and to the point; effectively concise. Brief - Short in time, duration, length, or extent. Laconic - Using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise.
Rate yourself: Waffly Wordy To The Point Concise
Move from Waffly to Wordy: Waffly: Reading travel writing that appears in magazines is so much fun for people to read. It also makes people feel like they are escaping their everyday lives instead of being stuck in the same old routine. Redundant phrases and ideas. “Being stuck in the same old routine” is unnecessary because that is what is implied by people wanted to escape their everyday lives. “For people to read” is redundant because the sentence starts with the word “reading”. Wordy: Reading travel writing that appears in magazines is so much fun for people. It also makes people feel like they are escaping their everyday lives.
Move from Wordy to To The Point: Wordy: Reading travel writing that appears in magazines is so much fun for people. It also makes people feel like they are escaping their everyday lives. Unnecessary words. “Reading” is unnecessary. What else do people do with writing? “For people” is unnecessary. What, a snake is going to read it? “Everyday” is unnecessary. People live their lives every day, there is no choice. Filler. “That appears in” is excess put in to make the sentence longer. “It also makes” is excess put in to expand the second sentence. Certainty qualifiers. “So much” is put in to qualify the level of fun. Either people are having fun, or they’re not. To The Point: Travel writing in magazines is fun. People feel like they are escaping their lives.
Move from To The Point to Concise: To The Point: Travel writing in magazines is fun. People feel like they are escaping their lives. Rephrase. Cutting redundant phrases and ideas, unnecessary words, filler and certainty qualifies is not enough. You need to completely rephrase the work so it says exactly the same thing concisely. Don’t forget the lessons you learned about phrasing. You still have to use literary devices where appropriate, choose your words carefully, use in medias res, take note of context, use an extensive and specific vocabulary, have actions and reactions, and vary your sentence lengths. Concise: Travel writing marries entertainment with a sense of escapism.
Practise – Waffly to Wordy: Write a waffly sentence. What are the redundant phrases and ideas? (at least 2) Write a wordy version.
Practise – Wordy to To The Point: What are the unnecessary words in the wordy version? What are the bits of filler in the wordy version? Identify any certainty qualifiers in the wordy version? Write a to the point version.
Practise –To The Point to Concise: Rephrase the sentence, remembering the lessons you learned about phrasing, so that it is concise. Why is this version more effective?
“I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” Blaise Pascal “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” Stephen King “Omit needless words. 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.” William Strunk, Jr. “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Stephen King “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you're inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” Mark Twain “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” Stephen King