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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 06/07/2012

What’d you say about the queen?


Tom Petty, short-form master! (Evy Mages - for the Washington Post)
Writers, when it comes to ending your sentences, be careful. Those are the parts of the sentences that your readers will remember.

That’s just one of the lessons imparted this morning at a how-to-write-short session piloted by Poynter writing coach Roy Peter Clark. Example: Shakespeare didn’t write, “The Queen is dead, my lord.”

He wrote, “The queen, my lord, is dead.” That way, you don’t forget about the queen’s condition.

There were a lot of other pieces of wisdom that came out of the 90-minute teach-in — including why Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’ ” kills it as a piece of short-form writing, as does “The Beer Can” by John Updike and Gene Weingarten’s small story about Manly Stanley — but I gotta keep this short.

By  |  02:00 PM ET, 06/07/2012

 
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