Book Review by Dr Chiranjeev Kohli “HOW TO WRITE SHORT by Roy Peter Clark”

Dr. Chiranjeev Kohli is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, and holds a PhD from Indiana University. He is currently a professor of Marketing at California State University, Fullerton, where he has been teaching since 1992. Besides his academic pursuits and teaching, he loves to travel and is a voracious reader. I had the pleasure of meeting him first at the School of Inspired Leadership in Gurgaon, where he serves as a visiting professor. Interestingly, he is also a stand-up comedian.

Dr Kohli also shares reviews of the books he reads on his Facebook page. He has kindly consented to allow me to post his book reviews on Vrikshamandir.

“The queen is dead, my lord” just doesn’t have the impact of “The queen, my lord, is dead.”

While we may mourn the death of long-form writing and be disheartened by the 140-character limit of the original Twitter, we are resigned to short-form writing. That’s what this world wants.

Clark covers the why and how of short-form writing. Every word must carry its weight. Everything else has to be excised. To make his case, he takes an original paragraph from Strunk and White’s Bible-like “Elements of Style” and omits needless words to trim it from 65 words (386 characters) to 27 words (137 characters). This is a book you want to read if you want to learn to write in short form.

To pay my homage to this impressive book, let me limit my take to saying that Clark has inspired me to write short. Six-word stories, anyone?


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