Global communications in English

Settle the word count early

counter A tip for magazine editors: it can save time (and money) if the approximate word (or character) count for an article is settled early – before the writers start work. Shortening or expanding an article after it has been written is more difficult than it might seem.

It’s like trying to reduce the size of pizza from a 12 inch diameter to a 9 inch diameter. Sure, you can make the pizza smaller by chopping a slice out of it, but it won’t have the same aesthetic appeal and appetizing look as one that comes out of the oven as a perfect circle! In the same way, slashing a paragraph out of article will make it shorter but is likely to disrupt the storyline and break any links the writer has carefully put in to keep the piece a unified whole. Much better to let your writers know beforehand how much space you have for the article so that they can create it “fully formed”.

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