Write tight: how to keep your prose sharp, focused, and concise

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Writer's Digest Books, Mar 1, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 195 pages
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In this book, William Brohaugh teaches you how to say exactly what you want with grace and power, using not only the right word, but also the right number of words. He discusses much more than redundancies and what is typically thought of as flabby writing. He also shows you how to tackle other sources of flab: evasiveness, empty blather, affectations, roundabout writing, self-indulgence, "inflated" and "deflated" language, tangents, and invisible and therefore unnecessary prose.
You'll examine concerns as small as unnecessary syllables (the "up" in "upon" is almost always removable), and as large as unnecessary book chapters. You'll learn that good writing is almost always a balance of the tight and the loose, that sometimes tight writing takes the form of sentences cascading at great length off the page, and that sometimes flabby writing can be as short as a single phrase. You'll even learn to handle the danger of writing that is too tight.
You'll tackle compactness, concision and precision with specific instruction and helpful exercises. This book takes you into the realm of tight writing by outlining the four levels of wordiness and "walking the ladder" up these levels to the sharp and pointed pinnacle that is precise writing; identifying sixteen types of flabby writing, with practical advice for tackling each; helping you explore the delicate middle ground between tight and wordy; running you through your paces with some "verbal aerobics" that will hone your awareness of flabbiness and your ability to avoid it in further writing; providing specific tests for your writing so you can begin to see the wordiness you might not have noticed before and pointing out ways to streamline your manuscripts using nonverbal devices, such as sidebars and checklists.

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Write tight: how to keep your prose sharp, focused, and concise

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Brohaugh's book reminds us that brevity is the soul of wit and that English is a mix of rules and exceptions to those rules. An editor for Writer's Digest , he has written extensively about the craft ... Read full review

Contents

A Tight Fit Into Todays World
1
Sixteen Types of Wordiness
16
Prewriting Tight
77
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

William Brohaugh is the former editor of Writer's Digest magazine and the former editorial director of Writer's Digest Books. He is the author of Unfortunate English and Professional Etiquette for Writers, and is the director of English through the Ages. He lives in Amelia, Ohio.

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