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By Johannes Helmold

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Hi everyone!

What if I told you there are ways to significantly improve your writing right away? Like you write decently, you read a short article, and start writing better. It’s possible because there are simple writing rules that are easy to follow, and which can make your writing better.

Today I am going to write about the importance of conciseness. I’m currently struggling to say, “Write concisely,” and finish this post with these words. But I feel like I need to give some explanation as to why it’s important to write concisely.

To write concisely does not mean to write dryly, or to write in a less amount of words. Conciseness means omitting everything superfluous. By superfluous I mean excessive epithets, untimely metaphors, cliches, comparisons (in most cases), descriptions that do not serve to move the plot forward, and other wordy decorations. Compare the following two passages.

“He walked along a picturesque seafront, admiring beautiful views of the sun, immersed in glittering water. He was wearing a striped classy suit—a stylish, minimalist necktie, and a hat with a brim. This hat was a really old one—perhaps his great grandfather might have worn it a long time ago—but it still was a perfect compliment to his entire design. Suddenly, strong wind, one of those winds that can blow only at the end of autumn, when winter is just about to start claiming its rights—tore the hat off his head, and it flew, like a cuckoo without a song, above the sea and to the distant horizon.”

This is an exaggerated version, but anyways, this is what many amateur writers tend to do. Now, let’s get rid of all the rubbish, do some editing here and there, and see what is left.

“He was walking along the seafront, enjoying the scenery of the sun setting beyond the horizon. Although it was chilly, his only clothing was an old-fashioned but stylish suit, and a retro brim hat. Without notice, a strong blast of wind ripped the hat off his head and carried it far into the burgeoning sea.”

The second option still bears enough descriptions to convey an image, and it’s much easier to see the action and the plot development in it as compared to the first paragraph. It still requires further editing, but it seems to have some future.

So remember: conciseness will immediately improve the quality of your writing. Good luck!

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