Writing Long: When Short And Sweet Just Don’t Cut It

As a writer, you’re constantly told to learn to trim your words.  Why write an entire paragraph when the same idea can be clearly conveyed with a sentence?  This focus on writing concisely, however, should not come at the expense of expressing complete facts.

While it’s important to be brief, you should also learn to be thorough.  It’s especially important when you’re composing any type of material that’s meant to persuade or push the reader into action, such as argumentative essays or sales letters.

Take a look at the thousands of long-winded sales pages on the web.  Even though you hit the back button every time you come across one, they’re heavily used for a reason: they work.  Because they attempt to cover every imaginable question the prospect might come up with about the product, they are a treasure trove of information for an interested individual.  Contrast this to a short landing pages that leave more questions than they answer.

As a rule, you want to write short for a general audience.  If you’re writing for an entertainment magazine or doing a blurb on a product, then use everything you’ve learned to cut and trim your piece.  Use a proofreading software in case you need additional help.

If you have a highly-targeted set of readers and specific actions you want to push, though, it’s better to cover all the bases, going as far as to cover the same points multiple times.  This is especially important in sales letters, where the copy is tasked with more than entertaining the readers – it has to sell them on the virtue of the product.  Short and sweet just won’t cut it.