I tell my students to eliminate words that don’t add anything to their subject. Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) gives reasons and examples here: Conciseness in Writing
I buy into the concept, but also expect communication–whether written or oral–to be vivid and clear, and so I must ask if there is a realistic minimum when too few words are as bad or worse than too many. Today, for the first time, I tried to tell a story in just 55 words (the flash fiction assignment I found at http://austinbriggs.com/category/Flash-Fiction-Contest/)
Are these few words–reduced from a scene in my book, Pieces of You, –enough to cause you to imagine the scene and discern the message imbedded in the story’s title, What if heaven is fun and fulfilling? Or would it benefit from more detail?
The news as usual is of carnage.
Disgusted, Mark turned to the mystifying peephole. His deceased mother, gloriously happy, was there teaching wide-eyed scholars, the scent of flowers and the notes of masters on the breeze. She took his father’s hand and faced Mark, saying, “We will help you teach them to love each other.”