I am told* that Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” was a couple of pages long before he set about cutting. It’s now 2 lines. In “Poet’s Work”, Lorine Niedecker writes: “No layoff/ from this/condensery.” Even if you are not a Dickinsonian modern poet this advice is good — and often given.

In his book Strictly English, Simon Heffer also recommends cutting redundant words. Tom Freeman, the Stroppy Editor, took his advice seriously and applied it, in a meta-editing tour de force, to the page on which Heffer delivers the advice. (Thanks to George Conk for the link.)

Bx0gZkwIQAEDGkM

This piece, “25 Ways to tighten your writing” by Betsy Mikel at PR Daily gives sensible advice on tidying your writing (sent to me via a tweet from Therin Knite, a young self-published writer who is constantly tweeting links to advice for writers.)
__________
* by Al Filreis, brilliant MOOC instructor, in ModPo (Modern & Contemporary American Poetry)
Advertisements