Writing punchy prose

Write like a boxer. Don’t exhaust yourself (and the reader) with sequences of long, complex sentences that load one idea upon another, like an amateur fighter trying to land a knock-out blow with a series of haymaker swipes. Professionals ‘mix it up’: they alternate short jabs with longer combinations of punches. Try it. Use long sentences for detailed analysis and explanation — in places where you need to unpick an underlying idea or break it down into constituent parts. Use short sentences for emphasis. And you will leave your reader on the floor, knocked down by the compelling force of your argument.

James McConnachie
8 March 2017

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