Cut to Bleed

Funny how you know exactly where your writing “turns glorious or cruel”…

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

priddy2635by Jan Priddy

Find the sentence where the essay turns glorious or cruel. Make that the beginning. Imagine running a race, that instant the starting gun cracks, the moment later when you reach full speed. Start your essay there, at a full sprint.

Sometimes the best line arrives at the end. Maybe start there. Maybe rearrange the furniture. Pick that powerful last paragraph up and move it to the start. You do not have to kill all your darlings. Sometimes they just need to be shifted to move us.

Find the word that says everything you mean. Mean it.

By the end, everything might be moving so fast, you fear you will fall. Take that. Fall. Collapse right into the reader.

If, at the end of your walk, you picked up a shell before turning for home, end with the shell, not the walk off the beach. Instead of ending…

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