Writing Tip Jar: Be Concise

Writing Tip Jar is a series to help encourage other writers and inspiring authors along their journeys. Happy Friday, and pull out your notebook or click on your cellular notepad! It is time to write.


My flaw as a writer is that I sometimes overwrite. I, too, had to learn to write concisely as well as learn to show and tell and not just say.

Here is a tip from Shrunk & White. I kept my little Shrunk & White book from college because it is an awesome resource for writers. Thanks to my former professor, Dr. Aghahowa, for introducing her students to this resource.

“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 sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”–Shrunk & White: The Elements of Style

Do you write concisely or do you tend to overwrite? What strategies and tools do you use to write concisely?

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