Write Tight: Say Exactly What You Mean with Precision and Power

Write Tight: Say Exactly What You Mean with Precision and Power

by William Brohaugh

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"These days, most creative-writing courses teach self-indulgence. Write Tight counsels discipline. It is worth more than a university education. Its advice is gold." -Dean Koontz

Foreword by Lawrence Block

Not since The Elements of Style has a writing guide had the ability to turn a writer's work around so effectively. Every writer struggles with keeping their prose focused and concise, but surprisingly few books address this essential topic. Write Tight is an informative and utterly readable guide that tackles these issues head-on.

William Brohaugh, former editor of Writer's Digest, goes beyond the discussion on redundancy and overwriting to take on evasiveness, affectations, roundabout writing, tangents and "invisible" words. Other topics include:

-Outlining the four levels of wordiness
-Identifying 16 types of flabby writing
-Exercises that help writers avoid wordiness
-Streamlining through sidebars and checklists
-Tests that show how concise a writer's prose is

"Write Tight is a supremely valuable, 'must-have' for aspiring writers in all fields from prose to nonfiction, journalistic copy, screenwriting and so much more." -Midwest Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402250576
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/01/2007
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 492,408
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Tight Fit Into Today's World

1. The Four Levels of Wordiness and How to Tackle Them: Learn the secrets of idea selection, manuscript planning, writing to feed into the manuscript's focus, and trimming and revising.

2. Sixteen Types of Wordiness and How to Trim Them: Specific advice on identifying and eliminating common wordweeds, including the affected, the circuitous, the empty, the evasive, and many others.

3. Prewriting Tight: Tips on keeping your writing concise even at the
first-draft stage.

4. Testing Your Writing for Flab: Verbal aerobics to trim your writing into shape.

5. The Danger Signs of Wordiness: Keys to verbal vigilance-how to spot little problems in your writing that could signal bigger problems.

6. Exercises for Developing Your Awareness of Concision: A variety of methods for loosening and tightening your prose.

7. Reducing the Mental Length of Your Manuscript: What to do when your writing is slow (or just seems to be).

8. Nonverbal Streamlining: Physical elements such as sidebars, subheads, and checklists can trim your prose to improve readability.

9. How Tight Is Too Tight?: How and when to loosen up to preserve clarity, emphasis, and flow without risking wordiness.

10. Putting It All Together: Writing Light: Pulling triggers in your reader's brain. Learn how to rely on what your reader already knows.

11. Tips for Trimming During Manuscript Revision:Recollection in tranquility can help you spot the wordiness that creeps in during the early writing stages.

12. Shave and a Haircut and a Few Bits:A potpourri of do's and don'ts to keep your writing at fighting weight.

Bibliography and Sources
Appendix: A Baedeker of the Redundant
About the Author

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Write Tight: Say Exactly What You Mean with Precision and Power 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
THHernandez More than 1 year ago
4.5 out of 5 Stars. As a writer and editor, I found this book to be useful for every kind of writing I do. I initially read it to help me shave word count on my novel, but I found it to be infinitely useful for the work I do for my day job. There are so many common sense lessons in the book that I easily shaved 10 thousand words off my novel in one revision and I continue to find additional areas to make my writing tighter with each pass. There are useful checklists, exercises and examples to really help retain the lessons learned. The only thing that kept me from giving this book a full five stars is that it's longer than it needs to be at 240 pages. I feel like it probably would have been fine at about half that. Bottom Line This is one of the top ten writing resources I'd recommend to all writers, not just those writing books. Anyone who writes anything for any reason will benefit from the lessons in Write Tight.
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