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A rule of thirds for writing

May 15, 2017

Bender with pencil

Photo: Tony Delgrosso (CC)

Bad writing meanders. It waffles, when it should get to the point.

And it’s especially bothersome when readers are pressed for time.

Cut the flab by following the rule of thirds for writing: We can safely trim most first drafts by one-third.

A 900-word snoozer transforms into a tight 600-word post.

It requires a firm hand when editing, dropping asides and wandering intros. When I edit copy from reporters and bloggers, I can tell where they use filler words and purple prose by habit. Out it goes.

Remember: Words are like shares in a story — the more we use, the less each one is worth.

More writing tips.

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