Sunday, June 17, 2007

style: big animal pictures

I've discovered a work writing style that really. . . works.

I can sum it up in three words - Big Animal Pictures.

In the past I used to write in an over-long, prosey style that could blow the top off of a Flesch-Kincaid test without blinking.

I have come to realize a few things about this sort of writing:

1. The people who you want to communicate with won't read it.
2. Anyone who does take the time to read it isn't someone you need to communicate with. Not really.

And so we come to Big Animal Pictures.

Big Animal Pictures mean short sentences wrapped around headings in a "get to the point" style. A Flesh-Kinkaid level that clocks in under 10th grade. Where two words will do, use one. Avoid commas if at all possible. Three to four sentences per paragraph.

It feels great to get to the point. Just like it feels great to not have to prove how smart I am anymore.

And if you're curious, Big Animal Pictures is a crass allusion to the sort of children's books that tell a story using. . .Big Animal Pictures. You don't pair Big Animal Pictures with Dickensian prose. Or even Plathian prose. You tell the story, and let the Big Animal Pictures speak for themselves.

PS - I think blogging has helped me "get to the point" - when was the last time you saw one of my ack/nak posts "go long"?

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