Writing Right with Dmitri: Precision Prose

0 Conversations

Writing Right with Dmitri: Precision Prose

Editor at work.

A lot of the work I do lately requires tight prose. One specific task involves the 150-word discussion. You may not realise how difficult this is until you try it. A 150-word page requires focus.

How can I tell the students about the Black Panther Party in 150 words? It's tricky. First, I need to know exactly what I want to say. How do I underscore the take-home message? I need a good thesis statement.

Before you can write short, you have to think long. Outline the larger context. I often start with 200 words or more, and then pare it down. The tricks you learn by doing this will be useful anywhere.

You may never need to do this. Maybe you will always have enough space to hold forth. But learning to pare down your prose will teach you to be precise, and still get your message across.


1. Go back and count the words in the preceding section.

Now, write a 150-word text based on the picture below: short-short story, essay, advert, whatever. See how hard easy it is?

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in the LEM over the lunar surface.

Writing Right with Dmitri Archive

Dmitri Gheorgheni

21.07.14 Front Page

Back Issue Page

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more