Saturday, July 21, 2007

Brevity

I'm troubled, fellow diners. I've heard rumblings from some of you that my posts are too lengthy-bordering on boring and mind-numbing, according to some. Logically, it concerns me. So, I spent a few moments bouncing around in cyberspace-looking for a little insight from those who have proven themselves successful writers. I found this:

"It is when I struggle to be brief that I become obscure."
-Horace

Made me feel a little better, to be quite honest. I recognize that I'm a bit windy-perhaps I just like to hear myself-I can't say for sure, but I do have a tendency to be...wordy (a nice way of putting it, I think). But, as Horace stated, struggling to be brief results in obscurity. Then though, I found this:

"Certain brief sentences are peerless in their ability to give one the feeling that nothing remains to be said"
-Jean Rostand

This is, I think, what every writer worth his salt strives for-the ability to in as few words as possible, say everthing that needs saying. How profound a statement! Which, of course, inspires me to strive for potent brevity-that is, brief, but so full of meaning that it says all there is to say.

But then I came across one final comment:

"I want to make a summing up, brief and to the point, but thorough. I have never supressed a word in my books out of regard for other people and their prejudices."
-John Henry Mackay

And this, I think, says it all: I'll say it as briefly as I can, but never sacrifice meaning or content. And I will endeavor to never strip down my writing simply to satisfy a critic. I will say everything that must be said, but endeavor to say no more.

Allow me though one indulgence. I am curious: do you, as a population, dear readers, universally agree that I'm too windy? Or is it only the uncivilized few? I have posted a poll on the right; vote-tell me if I need to shave it down from now on, or if I've got it just right!

2 comments:

deanna eccles said...

I'm not going to vote because I don't think any of those three are the appropriate response. I haven't noticed whether too long or too short (so apparently those aren't factors in my mind describing your writing). I would have to agree with Horace, I don't want to read a book thats all short and shallow. I want a book that has you on the edge of your seat and keeps you guessing all the way through. I have noticed one thing, Your hard on yourself. Lighten up Pj your a good person. Some people can be so critical man that makes me crazy. If you enjoy what your writing about then write on. And if we enjoy what we're reading about then we will read on. So no worries as long as your writing you will have your loyal diners.

elden said...

I agree with Deanna, PJ.