Cure Your Verbosity - Join Twitter!

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The Cambridge Dictionary's definition of verbosity is ironically succinct: using or containing more words than are necessary. While Charles Dickens was deliberately verbose (his work was published in instalments; the more instalments, the more money he made), few of us can get away with it.

It's an affliction suffered by far too many writers whose overuse of adjectives, adverbs and long-winded descriptions are anathema to their readers. A long time sufferer of verbosity myself, I can personally attest to this so it is with utter joy that I report that there is a cure - join Twitter!

With its 140 character (including spaces) limit, Twitter forces you to tighten your verbal belt. My first tweet was 370+ characters and too long for a full view of it in the narrow, 2-line max Twitter screen. I cut the piece and transferred it to Word where I began paring it down. This was a prioritisation exercise - which words were essential to convey the meaning of the message without my resorting to the abbreviations of phone text language?

The latter is important - if the cure doesn't fit the affliction, you're cheating the treatment. You wouldn't use such abbreviations in your story writing so using them in Twitter is like training for the high jump when your sport is swimming.

It took me over half an hour to whittle down that first Twitter message and the result was a revelation. Effectively, the message was much punchier and therefore more appealing to its audience. I've carried my new prioritisation skill into my story writing and I'm delighted with the results. So, I might add, are my readers.

Join Twitter today, flex those fledgling prioritisation muscles and get tweeting! Follow your favourite celebrities, authors or world news events. There are also excellent advice sites for writers such as Daily Writing Tips which I can personally recommend. While you're there, look me up (Michelle Dale) and follow me. This is a treatment with perks!

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