Okay, bloggers. Here’s a serious writing challenge. This challenge will sharpen your writing skills. Every blogger in the history of man/woman-kind, including yours truly, often talks too much. That foible can easily translate into writing too much. Verbosity and effusiveness live in our wheelhouse. If we’re not careful, they become our writing stock-in-trade.
We wind up writing Gone with the Wind
when we could have said the same
thing in Run, Spot, Run.
I’ve said this here before: when I edit for a client I usually butcher their first draft and
slash 25 to 45 percent of their copy–all the unnecessary words. I could probably take any length blog post and capture the major points and the topic message in five sentences. I won’t do that here. Just sayin’.
So, here’s my challenge. You have a choice.
A. Write an original blog post in five sentences. Then, either put your post in a comment here, or email your Pulitzer Prize-winning, 5-sentence post to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The post title doesn’t count.
B. Rewrite a post you’ve already written and published. Edit it down and write it over in five sentences.
I dare ya!
This exercise will hone your writing skills. It will train you to use brevity effectively in your writing. It will also help train you to omit unnecessary words when you edit (that is, of course, assuming you edit your posts before you publish them unlike my blathering, aging, cranky, blogging buddy Suze.
I look forward to reading some great, short, blog posts.
You can write in simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences. No, you can’t pad sentences with a lot of William Faulkneresque long-winded prose, like his 1,288-word sentence in Absalom Absalom. Remember, short writing is ALWAYS better than long writing.
Here’s a sample 5-word blog post I wrote for my entry:
It was the saddest day of my life.
We gently carried our limp, jaundiced,
dying dog Bo to the vet for the last time.
For nearly 15 years Bo was family
and brought endless joy to our hearts
and home. The vet said it would happen
quickly. He injected the serum into our
sweet dog and Bo died in my arms.