We're all being asked to write shorter, and for the more verbose of us, that's a huge challenge, as I noted in this post. The best strategy I know for writing short is the Idea/Details, which helps you determine the most important thing you want your audience to know and the three details that support that.
That takes care of the actual content, but making it really engaging is a matter of word choice and skillful use of other techniques.
For help with that, we rely on models. One of my favorites is the New York Times' daily headlines email. It shows you just how much useful information you can pack into a small number of words.
Coach Inhabits Ryan's Shadow on Defense, By DAVE CALDWELL
The Jets do have a defensive coordinator and his name is not Rex Ryan, it is Mike Pettine. "I'm not in it for the credit," he said. "I only want a ring."
All you need to know is right there in the teaser, but the sassy tone and strategic use of a quote make clicking the link irresistible. You want to know this guy you've never heard of, especially after last weekend's butt-kicking of the Tom Brady and the Pats (sorry, but they're my least favorite franchise, so I have to enjoy it!). We're gonna click through. Which is exactly what you want the writer wants. Score!
As you go through your day, look for great examples of short writing. Think about what makes it work. (For help with that, see yesterday's post: The 5 Big Questions.). Feel free to share some of your favorite examples (and your analysis) in the comments section below.