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Feb 10, 2019 07:47:09

Hack to improve your writing

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 274 words | 198πŸ”₯ | 198πŸ’Œ

Brandon Wilson

Current day streak: 198πŸ”₯
Total posts: 198πŸ’Œ
Total words: 62611 (250 pages πŸ“„)

The hack is after you have finished writing your piece, delete the first paragraph and the last paragraph. Here is the theory behind the hack. When you are writing the first paragraph, you don't really know yet how the piece will shape up. You might be trying to overcome writer's block to get started. You haven't gotten into the true telling of you story yet. If you delete it, then you will start quicker with the story.

For the last paragraph, you are usually looking for some nifty, artificial way of summarizing and closing out the piece. This sometimes means trying too hard. By deleting the last paragraph, you avoid the common cliches at the end and have a more forceful end with the penultimate paragraph.

This hack reminded me of the classic five-paragraph essay format that many of us were taught in school. The first paragraph is your introduction with your thesis statement. The three body paragraphs are examples or points with supporting facts. The last paragraph is a re-statement of the thesis and some type of summary/closure. 

Cutting the first and last paragraphs is like getting rid of the bread for a sandwich. Sure it's nice to have that bread, but it's not a must-have (and white bread is poison for a diabetic like me).

*Note: I practiced the hack on this post. This means I cut out the first paragraph where I explained where I heard about this hack. In case you are curious, I heard about it on Episode 430 of the James Altucher Show podcast titled "The Best 1 Minute Life Hacks to save time & enjoy more life."


  • 1

    @brandonwilson
    Big fan of James Altucher. I read something similar today from somewhere else. Delete the 1st paragraph because it's like when you make a live vide0. You don't know what to say and it's usually boring and you're clearing your phlegm.

    Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Feb 10, 2019 13:56:14
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      @RealNegotiator Except when it’s Hillary! I can watch those coughing videos all day. ?

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Feb 10, 2019 16:30:58
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      @brandonwilson Nooooo! PLEASE! Nooooo!

      Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Feb 11, 2019 13:29:58
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    @brandonwilson - The first and last are the most important portions of my writing. This will be tough for me but I shall try. Fan of hacks.

    Thanks for sharing

    Keni avatar Keni | Feb 10, 2019 10:18:48
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      @keni One thing James mentioned was that even knowing the hack prior to writing, he felt he was still able to successfully execute it. If nothing else, at least it reinforces your focus on the beginning and end and what exactly to put there to structure your writing.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Feb 10, 2019 08:36:48
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    @brandonwilson I remember the classic five-paragraph essay format

    Neil Shappiro avatar Neil Shappiro | Feb 10, 2019 10:17:58
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