The Magic of 750 Words

“The hard work of writing short remains one of the best tools I have consistently used in over twenty years of writing. It is the technique I return to again and again when my writing is muddled, and I can’t see where it wants to go. “

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

By Jill Kandel

I brought a 1,500-word essay to my first writing workshop. So proud of it I could barely spit. After two hours of lecture and discussion on writing short, the instructor said, “Bring it back tomorrow. Cut it in half.” I spent the night cutting, pasting, moving, revising, and proudly broughtexactly750 words to class the next morning.

Six days later – our writing workshop nearly over – I sat down with the instructor for a one on one. I was a lifelong reader and a nurse by profession. A forty-year-old who didn’t know how to pronounce the wordgenre.My instructor gave me a long list of great books on writing, explained what literary journals were, kindly taught me how to saygenre, and challenged me to write a 750-word piece forBrevity.

I spent the next two years reading every single book on…

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