How to Write Shorter Sentences

How to Write Shorter Sentences


There is a writing style for everyone.

One group loves the big bulky paragraphs with long sentences.

I’ve never enjoyed content like that.


I enjoy Salman Rushdie’s storytelling prowess.

But one thing that bothers me about him is how long-winded he is.


Nowadays, there is a new group of writers who are clear and to the point.

Their sentences are short, and their paragraphs are efficient.


These writers are polarizing.


One group doesn’t like them.

They think:

‘If you’re going to write, make it complex! I don’t want to feel like I’m reading writing material for a 4th grader.’


Another group thinks:

‘The message is for an adult, but even a 4th grader can understand it? Sign me up!!’


You just need to know your market.

There’s an art to shortening your sentences without losing the message.


It All Begins with Paragraphs


To create shorter sentences, you need to create shorter paragraphs.

Most people don’t think like that.

They try to write smaller sentences while maintaining the same length for their paragraphs.


This is hard to do.


Because the paragraph holds the essence of the message.

If you don’t target the essence, then you will struggle to shorten your sentences.


‘How do I shorten my paragraphs?’

By giving yourself rules.


One of my rules is that paragraphs cannot exceed 5 sentences.

I prefer the 2–3-sentence mark.


When I do that, it becomes easier to shorten my sentences.

I’m picky with which words I’ll use in the sentences.


Reverse engineer your journey.

When you say that you want to write shorter sentences, what do you really mean?

What do your ideal paragraphs look like?


Click “Enter” Liberally


Here’s a trick that I learned since publishing over 600 blogs:

  • Click “enter” liberally.


Assign yourself a topic.

Write about it.

After each sentence, click enter.

After each paragraph, click enter twice.


An example is with the blog that you’re reading right now.

For this blog, I click enter after each sentence and enter twice after each paragraph.


This trains my mind to think in short sentences.


Whenever a sentence is too long, my body alerts me:

‘You haven’t clicked enter in a while.’


Clicking enter liberally is different than most writing.

Especially books.

When I open a lot of classic books, I think:

‘Geez, this guy can’t probably even spell enter. His paragraphs have like 50 lines in them!’


Does Shortening the Sentence Impact Your Message?


Shortening your sentences will impact your message if you do not know what your message is about.


Here’s the catch-21 with writing:

  • To write better, you need to write a lot.
  • But when you write a lot, initially, you don’t know if you are writing better.


Keep up with the process though.

The more you write, the more you will understand what is important and what is not.


Your sentences will become crisp.

Rather than saying:

‘That was a very irritating thing.’

You’ll write.

‘That was annoying.’


A clear writing style impacts your speech as well.


Over time, you’ll be able to write shorter sentences packed with meaning.

It takes a lot of time though.


Who is Your Audience?


Do you know what I noticed in the real world?

Dumb people try to sound smarter than they are, while smart people don’t sound smart.

Smart people just sound like normal people.


When a smart person clearly expresses an idea, they make the dumb person think:

‘What’s the big deal about that idea? I could’ve thought of the same thing!’


The dumb person thinks this because the smart person already took care of the hard work.

  1. They identified the problem.
  2. Solved the problem.
  3. Removed the unnecessary information and polished the solution.
  4. Clearly presented the polished solution.


The dumb person just sees the solution.


That’s the annoying thing with writing clearly.

You don’t get your flowers.


A lot of people think they can do what you do.

Heck, there are these snobby readers who think:

‘I like to be challenged when I’m reading.’


Their pride gets involved.

They find it laughable that they would read something that could be understood by a 4th grader.


I’m the opposite.

When I see clear writing that is saying a lot, I am in awe.

This writer is saving me time!


I don’t have to pull out a dictionary to learn what certain words mean.

Their talk didn’t use 50 sentences when it could’ve used 5.

Their talk doesn’t drone on and on with adjectives.

Adults and kids can understand their delivery.


You need to know your audience when you’re writing.

If you’re writing for everyone, then the noise will get to you.


Bonus: Tweet to Simplicity



An underrated way to shorten your sentences without ruining the meaning is to tweet more.

I miss the old Twitter where there were limited characters.


Initially, I hated the limited characters.

But after tweeting with the restrictions, I was able to sharpen my message.


Tweeting allows you to exercise you mind to simplicity.

You’ll feel weird when writing those bulky paragraphs.


Try it out.

Tweet about anything that comes to your mind.


The more you tweet, the more you exercise the micro-muscles that will make you a better writer.


After you get a good grasp on tweeting, try creating threads.

Where you stack one tweet on top of another, and create a micro-blog.


Create Rules for Yourself


Many think that rules take away from creativity.

While in reality, rules add to creativity.


A few of my rules for these blogs are:

  • Shouldn’t exceed 1100 words.
  • Paragraphs should be 5 sentences max.
  • The rough draft shouldn’t take more than 17 minutes.
  • Don’t take longer than 55 minutes to publish.


These 3 rules provide a fertile ground where I can be creative.


We are living in a very noisy time.

Everyone is creating content nowadays.


If you’re long winded and taking forever to get to the point, then you will lose your audience’s attention.


Burn off the excess.

Add rules to your arsenal.

Shorten your paragraphs.

And shorten your sentences.


For more tips & strategies for writing, check out the Prolific Writer Book

✍️ Ebook

✍️ Paperback/Kindle

✍️ Audiobook


– ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥



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