The digital world has opened many doors, windows and avenues; with a mammoth amount of content so much information is muddled and lost in translation. When push comes to shove, what the majority of people are looking for is the quickest explanation, the shortest answer and the most comprehensive elucidation to an endless pile of queries. Perhaps it is time to retrace our steps back to elementary thinking, and reach the market with the basics. In fact, by regressing back to the beginning, you might end up building an audience, sustaining credibility and keeping your integrity intact.

140 to 160: Make Each Character Count

Whether you are texting or tweeting, there are precise limitations in both. For most mobile users, text messaging (SMS) is limited to 160 characters, a rule not so appealing to verbose or long-winded users.

Twitter allows 140 characters in each tweet, which is challenging—but often relieving for those who would rather trim the fat and state the facts.

140-characters were decidedly the appropriate length, leaving 20 characters for the username of the sender. This way, anyone receiving a tweet via SMS would get the full tweet in a single text message (since the creation of twitter came from the mobile SMS submission to and from a small group of recipients) with nothing leaking over into a new message that spills out minutes later.

The ABC’s of everything Newsworthy

A is for accuracy – a news story can be creative and compelling, but if it contains a single mistake it is no longer news, it is fictional and therefore not credible.

B is for brevity– Each word must serve a purpose. Whether it is transitional or factual, it must be relevant and never redundant. In other words get to the point. Say it just once, simply, concisely and comprehensively. This may seem like an obvious rule, but when a breaking news story about a dog who chased a cat up a tree the other day turns viral, and it is your responsibility to communicate that within a limited character count; it needs to include the most essential details: the who, what, where, when and how of what happened, this becomes a challenge.

“Cat Dogged up Tree, Oct. 15, Chicago” is clever, concise and cohesive. Now the reader is intrigued, and the writer is released of resorting to the worst shortcut in typography history: the BRB’s and OMG’s that are 4bidden in technical writing, and are not 2 appealing 2 read.

C is for clarity– It is necessary to keep in mind your audience and what they know, when in doubt explain what wouldn’t be obvious to the average person. The more information you gather, the more you have to sift through to determine what is paramount and what is not. The more you know about a topic the harder it is to tell it quick and make it clear. Liken it to an algebraic equation: a slew of numbers and symbols that lead to an answer by simplifying the variables. Combine, add, subtract, multiply, divide and decide by the process of elimination what the crux of the message is.

I believe it was he or she who said to me that I am the key to a great story

With the basics in line, it is imperative not to lose yourself in technicalities. You as a writer have your own unique voice, and without any personality in your work a story will lose all of its appeal. It was Shakespeare who said: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Stay true to yourself and when in doubt, go back to the very basics.