What's This?

Boring prose drove me crazy when I taught writing teaching at both UCLA and Cornell.

Who could tell if the overly long, wandering sentences in student writing might contain pertinent information?

I sure couldn't find it most of the time. Then I realized that the worst of the writing usually resulted from the overuse of "to be" verbs and prepositional phrases.

My quest to avoid brain damage from lethally dull writing led me to develop the "cut to the chase" method which relies upon the merciless, mass-murder of "to be" verbs and prepositional phrases. Kill them so your writing can live.

Inspired by UCLA Professor Emeritus Richard Lanham's Revising Prose, "cut to the chase" created an immediate impact, allowing students to increase the impact of their writing, improve clarity and communicate better.

Those students who mastered the technique raised their grades and prevented millions of my own neurons from committing suicide.

A surprising number of those students survived my instruction and have gone on to lead normal, useful lives as writers, journalists and entrepreneurs.

Writing can be further improved by using other techniques. But the sum of every other editing technique cannot create as immediate and dramatic improvement as "cut to the chase."

If you want to move beyond "cut to the chase" and make your writing better, you'll want to check out StyleWerks, a software program that we're developing that adds the ability to check sentence length, variability and other items.