Good writing — Saying more with less words
Creative writing skills –learning how to say more with less words
This is the way a school girl wrote the opening of the epic sea adventure story– Swiss Family Robinson …
The Robinson couple loved the seas. They were brave and did not shy away from risks associated with voyages. They had dreamt of going out on an expedition to some far off uninhabited island, where they could live happily like a monarch with their three sons. They saved a lot of money, studied map-reading and geography, and had a sturdy sail-boat made.
On one fine morning, they set out with all items they could need during and after their journey. These included food stuff, medicines, a few domestic animals, some plants, seeds, arms, maps, wines, cattle feed and, of course, the Swiss flag.
They started off well with a strong seaward breeze, clear skies and their spirits high. Was their ambition going to be fruitful, or disaster awaited them — they had little idea about. It was the seventh day of the journey. Their boat has been cruising along smoothly. But by afternoon, the sky began to be overcast. Dark cloud accumulated. Robinson anxiously looked at the sky, and at the distant horizon. Nothing was in sight. He ordered his family inside. The sky got darker and darker. A storm started to blow. Robinson hastily lowered the sails to let the wind blow over. But the raging storm got worse and worse and began to push the boat off course. The night fell. The storm was unrelenting. Robinson knew his boat was straying off course, bit he could do little to stop it. Nervously, he gulped down a drink or two and decided to wait the night out.
Then, the unthinkable happened. There was a violent thud and a huge jerk. Things fell off their shelves, the animals screamed, his wife and the three sons cried aloud in horror. And then came the rattling sound Robinson had never wanted to hear. The part of the boat in which they lived tilted down and water rushed in. Robinson knew the most dreadful thing had happened. Death was just minutes away. But, that was not to be. They remained awfully perched in their broken boat, which obviously had run aground and split into two. But the water did not engulf their cabin.
Robinson advised his family members to stay calm. Finally, the much-awaited dawn broke. Robinson realized that their ship had been totally wrecked by the impact of the wind. Their broken ship was just a few yards away from an island. Total words .. 380
This is how a smarter girl wrote the same story …
The sea had always beckoned the brave seafaring Robinsons. They dreamed about a voyage that could take their family to an unknown, uninhabited island. They could colonize it unhindered, to live there happily with their three sons.
They accumulated money, ordered a schooner, and collected the wherewithal like food, ammunition, domestic animals, medicines, maps, compass etc..
On a clear sunny day, they set sail for the unknown. A week into their so far smooth journey, bad omens appeared in the sky. Dark clouds hovered over and strong winds raged the whole night. They were swept adrift. Undaunted, Robinson held his nerves. He had the sails lowered, and ordered the family inside the cabin. The night had to be waited out.
But fate had ordained otherwise.
The dreadful night passed. The storm calmed. At first light, they were horrified to discover that they had reached a spot close to the shore of an island with their boat spliced into two. The family cabin was half-drowned, but fate had left them unhurt and alive. They had been ship-wrecked, but they had evaded death. Total words … 181
See how as many as 200 words have been knocked out of the first text without any loss of details of the story. Understand the use of the underlined words in the second text such as …
Ship-wrecked, beckon, holding one’s nerves, wherewithal, set sail, adrift and omen etc.