Short for Impact

The best quotes are those that dazzle and enlighten with one sentence. That quick one two punch that leaves you thinking. Quotes wandering along into two, three or more sentences loose their power. You have to read them and think as you’re reading. It spoils the effect.

Condensing your sentences, your whole essay, story, whatever you’re working on, will also give it more power. Short sentences get noticed. Long winding sentences wandering around to make their point tend to blend into the wood work and take longer to be absorbed. See the difference?

When you’re writing an article draw the reader in using content and focus. Content being the subject. Focus is making the subject clear and important or interesting enough to be read. You can get someone to read about bug spray if you write it right. Tell them something new. Don’t muddle the idea. Use short sentences like a trail of bread crumbs. Keep your wordage uncomplicated too. Don’t load them down with dictionary words they’ll have to stop and think about.

Later, when they’re into your subject and you’ve given them questions they want answered, you can bring on the longer sentences and the more detailed information. First the focus and then the heavy duty content. At the end you give them closure of some kind.

Not so different from a quote. Think about that next time you’re writing. What was the last really great quote you read and why did you like it? Maybe your eye was drawn to it because it was one simple sentence. Possibly one word had some personal appeal to you or perked your curiousity, so you read it. When you rewrite see if you can shorten a few sentences, yank their chains and make them stand up and take notice. Check for extra words just hanging around not adding to the focus or the content. If you want to be read think about what gets read.

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