Let the Reader Wonder

Make your message resound in the mind of the reader.  How can you get good acoustics in there? It's the same as trying to get a nice sound in any other room: you can improve acoustic conditions by emptying out the room. When 100% of the reader's attention is on one thing, it makes a powerful impression.

Consider this sentence:

The children were hurting my head.

Add another item for the reader to consider or remember, and the attention is divided. It may be necessary to add more words when trying to be informative, but be careful when being informative, because information encumbers the reader:

The children were playing an awkward tune on some flutes they had been given for Christmas, and the shrill noise was hurting my head.

This sentence is more informative, but it is not as fun to read -- not as intriguing.  Also, I hope it gets good gas mileage, because it takes a long time to go from point A to point B. This has more power: The children were hurting my head.
So, informative details are not always helpful. Sometimes, it is best to let the reader wonder. 
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Strategic Writing: Trim away unnecessary words.

Let's give this sentence a complete makeover:

#1.) Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, was shot by a killer named Boothe.

#2.) Abraham Lincoln was shot by a killer named Boothe.

Sentence #2 is more powerful, because it is not weighed down by unnecessary words. Big, fat, heavy sentences that cannot hold their own weight are very cumbersome to the reader. They are tedious to read and interpret.

Taking this idea a step further, let the reader sometimes do the work of interpreting what you write.  Don't spoon feed them and rob them of the opportunity to experience their own insight. For example:

#1.) The sound of the piano will always remind me of my dead little brother, who enjoyed playing piano very much. I like to visit his grave and play a little tune on an electric keyboard.

#2.) The sound of the piano will always remind me of my dead little brother. I like to visit his grave and play a little tune.

Example #2 is not as informative, but it let's the reader achieve a profound state of mind.  You want the reader to have a profound state of mind when reading.  Let the reader do some of the work. Let her wonder.

Make it your priority that you give the reader images and concepts without a lot of unnecessary detail.  Do not waste a single word.

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