I recently noticed a trend to a few of my questions. I am attracted to writing in places with extreme brevity. This makes sense to me on a personal level. I've always been attracted to one-liners and short but powerful works. I like reading and writing works that deliver a lot of value quickly and I agonize over word choice to leverage meaning whenever possible.

What I want to know is, are there any techniques, or strategies, to deliver more impact in short works? What I do right now is by feel. Then I often revise, revise, revise. I can often make twenty passes through a piece of work with the intention of distilling it. Making it shorter in breadth but still containing as much or more meaning. Is there any formula, pattern, etc... that can help me in this process?


1 Answer 1


Research soundbites.

Someone who claims to write "the art of the soundbite" has invented a system he calls A BEACH PRO:

The system is called A BEACH PRO, which is an acronym that stands for analogy, bold action words, emotions, examples, attacks, absolutes, clichés, humor, pop culture references, rhetorical questions and opposition quotes.

Nearly every quote you read in newspapers and trade publications contains one or more of these 11 A BEACH PRO elements.

The advice seems pretty broad and the acronym would actually be A BEEAACH PRO, but it does seem to get to the "impact" you mention – not accuracy or brevity, but "impact".

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talk about soundbites where he describes 3 sentences that are: "informative, make you smile, and are so tasty you might want to tell someone else."

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