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Treat text messages like prose. Before hitting the send button, review your text: spelling, content, punctuation. Ask yourself: What am I attempting to communicate? What am I attempting to express? Be more deliberate with your most common form of casual writing, and you’ll automatically become more deliberate in other mediums.

Words are tools. Expand your vocabulary to make your writing more precise. There’s no need to use a ten-dollar word when a ten-cent word will suffice, but having more tools in your toolbox will allow you to select the most appropriate tool for the job. Sometimes you need an ax, sometimes you need a scalpel. Pick one new word each day, and then use it at least 21 times in your conversations with others that day. The most useful words will stick, and your vocabulary will expand over time.

Do it daily. If you want to improve your writing, write every day. Writing is a muscle: if you don’t use it, you lose it. For me, the best way to guarantee consistent writing was to start a blog. (Related article: How to Start a Successful Blog Today.)

Punctuation. Is. Pace. To add variety, velocity, and cadence to your writing, play around with different punctuation: periods, commas, em dashes, colons, semicolons. Short, succinct sentences communicate tension. Longer, run-on sentences, on the other hand, help establish a frantic, hurried rhythm—a feeling that the pace is picking up as the words tumble onto the page.

Avoid throat-clearing. Blogs, books, and social media posts are littered with unnecessary intros, solipsistic digressions, and avoidable drivel. Ditch the nonsense and state your points. When in doubt, delete your first two paragraphs and see whether the writing improves.

Don’t waste the reader’s time. Our time and our attention are two of our most precious resources. It is selfish to force a reader to spend fifteen minutes reading something you could’ve—and should’ve—communicated in 90 seconds. If you want to earn your reader’s trust, don’t waste their time.

30% composition, 70% editing. For every hour you spend writing, spend three hours editing, shaping your work into something more concise, more powerful—more beautiful. Writing truly is rewriting.

Narrative urgency. Every sentence must serve a purpose: Your first sentence must make the reader want to read the second. The second sentence must propel the reader to the third. So forth and so on until the very end. If a sentence doesn’t move the narrative forward—if it doesn’t make the writing more urgent—then it must hit the cutting-room floor, no matter how clever or precious it seems.

Avoid too many adverbs. A sure sign of amateur writing is the overuse of adverbs, especially -ly adverbs. A woman in a story isn’t incredibly pretty—she’s beautiful; the sky isn’t very blue—it’s azure. Find the perfect words to avoid using adverbs as crutches.

Follow the rules, and then unfollow the rules. Learn the rules so you can break them successfully. I recommend two books to my writing students to help them understand the guidelines of good writing: Grammatically Correct and Garner’s Modern English Usage.

Read more about writing. No matter your level of competency, there’s always room for improvement. For daily tips and writing-related articles, follow How to Write Better on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to the free How to Write Better newsletter.

minimalist writing

from wikipedia: minimalism

Literary minimalism is characterized by an economy with words and a focus on surface description. Minimalist writers eschew adverbs and prefer allowing context to dictate meaning. Readers are expected to take an active role in creating the story, to "choose sides" based on oblique hints and innuendo, rather than react to directions from the writer.

Some 1940s-era crime fiction of writers such as James M. Cain and Jim Thompson adopted a stripped-down, matter-of-fact prose style to considerable effect; some classify this prose style as minimalism.[weasel words]

Another strand of literary minimalism arose in response to the metafiction trend of the 1960s and early 1970s (John Barth, Robert Coover, and William H. Gass). These writers were also sparse with prose and kept a psychological distance from their subject matter.[citation needed]

Minimalist writers, or those who are identified with minimalism during certain periods of their writing careers, include the following: Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, Bret Easton Ellis, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, K. J. Stevens, Amy Hempel, Bobbie Ann Mason, Tobias Wolff, Grace Paley, Sandra Cisneros, Mary Robison, Frederick Barthelme, Richard Ford, Patrick Holland, Cormac McCarthy, and Alicia Erian.[citation needed]

American poets such as Stephen Crane, William Carlos Williams, early Ezra Pound, Robert Creeley, Robert Grenier, and Aram Saroyan are sometimes identified with their minimalist style. The term "minimalism" is also sometimes associated with the briefest of poetic genres, haiku, which originated in Japan, but has been domesticated in English literature by poets such as Nick Virgilio, Raymond Roseliep, and George Swede.[citation needed]

The Irish writer Samuel Beckett is well known for his minimalist plays and prose, as is the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse.[55]

Dimitris Lyacos's With the People from the Bridge, combining elliptical monologues with a pared-down prose narrative is a contemporary example of minimalist playwrighting.[56][57]

A.L. Snijders, pseudoniem of Peter Cornelis Müller