WHAT INSPIRES US

BERYL BAINBRIDGE. MISTRESS OF BREVITY.

by Alastair / in Writing

I was inspired to go back and appreciate the tightness of Beryl Bainbridge’s writing.  Apparently she used to write twelve pages for one page of finished script.  Sometimes you have to return to an earlier passage to understand the thread.  It’s that compact.  Because she doesn’t pad it out, you’re left to do a lot of the work.  Perfect.

A LESSON IN WRITING POWERFULLY

If you want to make your business writing clear, concise and powerful, here are some key lessons from Beryl Bainbridge’s tough writing stance:

  1. Strip out excess. To Bainbridge, every word and each sentence had a purpose. This is where her storytelling generates its power.
  2. Clarity of vision. Famously, Bainbridge knew her last book would be 185 pages. She wrote the first 150 and the last 10 and dictated notes to her daughter about the missing 25 pages before she died. The story was already clear in her head. Do you know what you want to say?
  3. Preparation and process. Often we write as we think. When does it pay to flip this process? Ask yourself: What effect do I want my words to have? What do I want people to think, say and do afterwards?

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

― Maya Angelou

Writing, Communication, Creativity

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