Monday, February 26, 2007

Keeping It Simple: Don’t Lose Your Readers

Short and sweet. It can mean many things. What does this mean to you as the writer? Let’s think about it for a moment. Short and sweet. Does this mean short stories about a candy factory? Well, it could, but not today. Short and sweet. It means keeping your words short and easy for your reader to digest. It means keeping your sentences short and free of unnecessary adjectives. And it means keeping your paragraphs short and breezy. Why? Why when you have so very many richly flamboyant, gaudy, and colorfully stupendous adjectives so widely available in every thesaurus free and just waiting for you to use to snatch them up and describe your eloquently glorificated honey dripping sentences, with them why would you want to be short and sweet?

Why short and sweet?. Think on it this way: Did you notice a sentence back there that had you tripping on your tongue? A sentence so fluffed up sand flowering with adjectives, that yo had a hard time understanding the point of the sentence? Let’s re-read it again in case you missed it before: [quote] Why when you have so very many richly flamboyant, gaudy, and colorfully stupendous adjectives so widely available in every thesaurus free and just waiting for you to use to snatch them up and describe your eloquently glorificated honey dripping sentences, with them why would you want to be short and sweet?[/quote]

That wasn’t very easy to read now was it? And yet, so many manuscripts are written like this. The writer wonders why the editor turned it own. The answer is simple: the editor was unable to wade through the needless gibberish. He could not see past the adjectives. He could not see the point of the story. In fact, he couldn’t even find the story, because he was tangled up in the snares known as adjectives.

Simple clear writing contributes to better reading comprehension. It prevent misunderstandings. It makes you the writer sound more intelligent. You reader won’t need a dictionary on hand while reading your book. And your reader doesn’t give up reading while still in chapter one.

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