Attaining Brevity

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

I’m all about brevity, and not just for Brevity. I’m ruthless with my editing clients’ work. In the big picture, asking if a scene is needed or a subplot is serving the story as a whole. Line by line, chopping words and phrases:

Driving in a car

That night I fell asleep in my bed and dreamed

He got out of his car, walked across the lot, and through the front door of the apartment building, where he pressed the elevator button for the tenth floor.

Not all editors have this near-ridiculous focus on using the fewest possible words to tell the story. And I have to be careful to curb this instinct when working with a writer whose natural style is wordier, or who’s writing in a more-descriptive cultural tradition. But usually, cutting every possible extraneous word benefits an essay or a book. Sharpens the focus. Keeps the…

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2 thoughts on “Attaining Brevity

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I don’t mind retyping, the perfectionist in me, but this gives me extra eyes at catching unnecessary fillers and words. You’ve helped me out more than you know. Wow, i’m so glad I stopped to read this post. ❤👍

    Liked by 1 person

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