A lesson from Elmore Leonard

Recently, I was given a rather substantial document to read.  It was just short of 80 pages long – most of it text.

‘This is going to take me a moment or two to read,’ I said.

‘Well, you can probably skip quite a bit of it,’ the author replied.

Oh, really?

I’m pretty sure that it was Elmore Leonard who, when asked how he managed to keep the action in his books moving so quickly, said: ‘I leave out the parts that people skip.’

At KiwiStreet, we find this strategy also works well when it comes to writing proposals, project summaries, and reports. 

Leaving out the parts that people skip helps both the reader and the writer.  It helps the writer to think about what is important, and to express what is important clearly and succinctly.  And it saves the reader time, and helps to ensure that he or she doesn’t skip any of the important bits.

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