I’m working on an article about making nailed (boarded) furniture. The new format at the magazine has restricted columns like mine to 2 pages and I’m having trouble getting the job done in 2. It could be that I’m naturally wordy. I’ve been teased for this in the past and I’m self conscious about it. What I can say is that Americans are particularly succinct. And Americans like Chris Schwarz, educated and trained as a journalist, make revealing a lot of info in a few words look easy. I clearly lack those skills.
(I was recently sitting in an apartment in Rome reading the back of a box of corn flakes. First, the entire back was filled with print. No toy giveaways, no picture of a soccer player, just a lengthy description of how great you are going to feel after eating the contents. And the words were positively gargantuan! That would never pass muster in the US.)
I think there’s more to this than my personal wordiness. I read a lot of woodworking magazine articles. And many or most don’t go into half the depth and detail that I do. There’s an expression (that I never understood) about the devil being in the details (I certainly hope not).
Here’s the part I need your help with: When I I read an article involving a build, I don’t see much detail on how to push the wood through the planer. I guess there’s a technique to that, where you stand, how you avoid dismembering yourself, etc. Does everybody just know how to do that?
I guess my sense is that when I write about cutting a quick dado by hand, I’m not sure if everybody knows how to do that, that there’s a plane for that or how that plane works.
So the question I have for you is am I wasting your time explaining these sorts of processes? Tell me honestly what you think. My sense is that in print, I’m not wasting anyone’s time. You can always skim. I think I’d feel differently about the subject were it a class or a presentation. Of course, in those situations, I often look to provide even greater detail.
P.S. I don’t find Chris personally succinct like say, a Texan. He’s just a skilled writer. Even his lengthy tomes have 10 times more info than I could put in as many pages.