Writing short, well

By | February 10, 2009

Writing for the web demands writing short. You are crafting content for an audience with a very limited attention span. And most people don’t read online. They scan.

So here are 25 tips for writing short by Roy Peter Clarke, the writing coach at Poynter Institute.

My short list of Clarke’s best tips:

  • #6. Beware: The infinite space on the Internet creates aerated prose.
  • #7. The shorter the passage, the greater the value of each word.
  • #12. Imagine a short piece from the get-go. Conceive a sonnet, not an epic.
  • #17. Read, study, and collect great examples of short writing, everything from the diaries of Samuel Pepys to the Tweets of your favorite Twits.
  • #18. The best place for an important word in a short passage is at the END.
  • #22. Obey Mark Twain: You may need more time, not less, to write something good and short.
  • #25. Treat all short forms of journalism – headline, caption, blurb, blog post – as literary genres.

1 Comment

Mike on March 1, 2009 at 6:33 am.

Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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