Story-editing Guideline

Here is how to Get to the Point

 

A Story:

My cousin Bill and I went to Cape Cod for our other cousin’s, Joann’s, 10th Anniversary party.

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

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

 Same Story edited for relevant information:

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.

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 friends who speaks succinctly. Ask them to say it back to you concisely. Write what is said. In your original 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.