How to Shorten Your Stories

How to Shorten Your Stories

 Which story is interesting & memorable?

  • My cousin Harry and I went to Cape Cod for our other cousin’s, Hermione’s, 10th Anniversary party.

When we arrived we were surprised that there was no electricity in her whole neighborhood, about 8 blocks square.

We set up the grill and still have a good time. Hermione was first upset but when she saw what we were doing, she was okay. When the power came back on, we all talked about how dependent we are on the power grid.

 Or:

  •  When I arrived at a party, there was no electricity. When the power came back on we talked about how dependent we are on the power grid.

Which story is interesting & memorable?

Options to Shorten Your Story:

  •  Write your story as an Outline with Main Points and Bullets.  When telling your story, delete the bullets.
  • Or write your full story and tell it to a friend who speaks succinctly. Ask them to say it back to you concisely and write what is said. In your version, slash through what is now left out.

Why does this work? It heightens your awareness of irrelevant information. Because of that, you will catch yourself adding irrelevant information in speaking and writing and get back to using only the key ideas of your story.

 

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