A Problem with Brevity

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz-blocker The Loquacious Liz Blocker

by Liz Blocker

The writing advice guides all agree on one point: it’s essential to find your own style. This is all well and good, except that in its natural, unchecked state, my style is a catastrophic landslide of prose.

In other words, I am incapable of being brief.

When I write, sentences pour out in long unraveling skeins, or in a flood of white-capped, roiling snow-melt. Why use one metaphor when you can use two, or three? My word counts rise in a predictable pattern: first I worry about keeping to my target, then I wonder how flexible that target is, and then I realize I’ve written enough for five pieces, not one.

This problem has financial implications, too. It was one of these occasions that made me first wonder if this issue of mine was more than just a cute idiosyncrasy. My wife and…

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