“Avoid preamble—flip the on switch in the first sentence.” And other writing advice from @JamesWolcott
I’m greatly enjoying James Wolcott’s “Lucking Out: my life getting down and semi-dirty in seventies New York,” not least for the writing advice. From sifting through the Village Voice slush pile, he learns:
Avoid parody, which slides too easily into facetiousness. Avoid political satire, which has the shelf life of a sneeze. Avoid preamble—flip the on switch in the first sentence. Find a focal point for your nervous energy, assume a forward offensive stance and drive to the finish line, even if it’s only a five hundred word slot: no matter how short a piece there has to be a sense of momentum and travel, rather than just allotted space being texted-in.