Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The short list: 5 more books on writing short

You write a post about word-limited storytelling from Hemingway to NPR, and another about a book on Microstyle, and guess what? You'll keep hearing from readers who want more about how to write short. Microcontent, headlines, web content, you name it. Brevity is not just the soul of wit these days, but a necessary format.

I'm happy to oblige. Here are more books to add to your (ideally short) bookshelf on short writing:
  1. How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times is writing guru Roy Peter Clark's contribution to the brevity business. He walks you through how to write short in the first half of the book, then how to do it with purpose, just to up the ante.
  2. Heads You Win!: An Easy Guide to Better Headline and Caption Writing is Paul LaRocque's laser-focused guide to the true short stuff. Headlines are more important than ever in building traffic, and captions never allow enough room. This guide walks you through structure, traps, pitfalls and the actual mechanics of writing headlines and captions, with exercises to try.
  3. Copywriting: Headline Wizardry: Learn How to Write Spellbinding Headlines, by Jack Chapman, takes a different tack, dissecting headlines by their purposes, tone and intent. You won't look at a headline the same way again.
  4. Letting Go of the Words, Second Edition: Writing Web Content that Works includes clear-writing advice as well as content strategy for websites, SEO and social media.
  5. Get to the Point! Painless Advice for Writing Memos, Letters and Emails Your Colleagues and Clients Will Understand, Second Edition deals with our most common forms of day-to-day writing, not noble but necessary.

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