Look at this pumpkin. Impressive? Everyone loves a really giant pumpkin. But there’s no way I’m taking it home to make pies with it. It’s too much work, and the pies won’t taste good.
The same applies to really verbose white papers with lengthy sentences. We might be impressed by the mass of writing and the dedication of the writer. But reading it through, end to end, is too much work. And it’s even less likely that we’ll take away actionable information from it to share with others.
This follow-on to my last post about shortening web copy was inspired by editing a white paper for a client. The paper was so full of complex sentences that even the reviewers couldn’t make themselves get through it.
I often write in long, complex sentences – apparently I think in layered clauses. But few of these sentences survive my editing for white papers, articles or other content marketing collateral. Next time you’re tempted to write in really long sentences, think of the Great Pumpkin. And start carving up those sentences.