What makes Pulitzer-worthy writing?

I love this quotation because it not only fulfills itself but succinctly describes the job of any writer in any genre. For me, I tend to be an overwriter, which I don't mind because I have as many drafts as I need to work it down to the bare minimum of what's needed. This process, as a result, lends itself to greater clarity as we strip away everything that distracts from our meaning so all that's left is the essential story. And what I'm learning about "putting it picturesquely" is that memorable description is a clear and precise image we as writers put in the reader's mind.⁠ ⁠


Brevity and clarity are essential for making descriptions memorable. ⁠


Dickens was a master at this. Take this sentence from Dombey and Son. I still remember it years later.⁠ ⁠ "And Mrs. Miff, the wheezy little pew opener--a mighty dry old lady, sparely dressed, with not an inch of fullness anywhere about her--is also here."⁠ ⁠


No hair, eye, or skin colour needed. No long descriptions of the clothing, because it doesn't matter. One sentence gives you everything you need about her character--inside and out. ⁠ ⁠


Brief. Clear. Picturesque.⁠



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