I notice that traffic-hungry bloggers and web-savvy advertisers tend to follow
My friend says it best, whom he got from one of his old teachers. I don’t have the best memory, but as best as I remember it:
Say you’re wrote an essay. Try to consolidate everything together, minimizing and getting rid of filler words and sentences (X amount of times) while retaining meaning and intended purpose. When you think you’ve condensed everything, remove one last thing.
Kurt Vonnegut says pretty much the same thing:
If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.
This type of thinking should be applied in many other situations beyond writing. How much of our lives are lived waiting for the punch line, standing in line, or finding the line? Now I don’t strictly follow this method, but I definitely agree with its purpose and outcome. I believe my mind works like this sometimes- Be terse, remove irrelevant information, then simplify further (within reason). But am I losing valuable analysis by oversimplification? Not if done correctly. One is probably more prone to blur the “end result” by drawing out too much- sort of a reductionist compulsion. There may be some gray areas to both solutions, but when concise, the message will be relayed without adding unclear material and dead-end tautologies.