I’m working on a three part blogpost series about how to choose what to write about, and a very interesting thing happened.
I originally wrote the first article intending to post it to Masterpiece and to my Masterpiece Facebook page, so length was definitely not a factor. Then I decided to post it on LinkedIn as well. Now LinkedIn, as I just discovered, has a rather stingy character limit on posts. I found myself hacking away at my piece, trying to chisel out as much as I could to shrink it down to LinkedIn standards.
Guess what happened? The post got better. And better. And better! The more I whittled down, the sharper and snappier it got!
I challenge you to take a piece, any piece, and pare it down by 200, 400, 1,000 words. See what happens and let me know.
Great question, @PassionforWriting. In some cases, there’s an external boundary, like a wordcount, so you don’t really have a choice. If you have the freedom to write as much or as little as you like then you need to gauge the piece for yourself and see if it reads smoothly or it feels “bulky”. You want it to flow, to be fun and interesting to read.
@HappiWriter I couldn’t remove any real concepts or it would kill the piece. I trimmed extra words and even sacrificed a few bits of humo(u)r that would have spiced things up but wouldn’t leave the post mangled without them.
Riva I must admit, cutting off pieces of writing would be like c”v cutting a piece of my heart….But of course sometimes doing surgery is critically important and we come out better and stronger from it. To give you an example of my own humble experience, I recently composed a song about a topic I felt extremely passionate about. You can probably imagine how lengthy that song was. (If I could argue on the topic for days on end then why wouldn’t I sing about it for just as long😉) So in order not to chew the ears off people and keep my family members from throwing me out the door, I proceeded to snip and sniff, and to cut and cry….. To make a “long story short” everyone loved it (and me) much more than before. Thanks for raising the awareness on the topic, Riva!
Oy, Chaya’la, I was mamesh on that tumultuous journey with you, through the trauma of that heart-breaking surgery…and then the triumph of the exquisite finished product!! Can we see your song, pretty please? 🙂