Write better: Short sentences are good

Sometimes less is more.

New writers tend to put out long sentences, often longer than is necessary. This, I believe, is a side effect of speaking. When talking to someone, we don’t realize just how many sentences sprawl out our mouths in succession, and how swiftly a listener processes them. Speech processing is natural to us, reading isn’t.

When you read, you process every single word while constantly trying to stay in the flow. A short sentence can be a good mental break, especially when the reader least expects it. This is true not just for writing articles or books but for everyday communications like email, chats, socials and more too.

An occasional short sentence can carry a tremendous punch. It stays in the reader’s ear.

– William Zinsser, in his iconic book On Writing Well

Be afraid to write longer sentences, not shorter ones. Reverse the equation.


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