1. The95Writer

    The95Writer Active Member

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    Any tips for simplifying writing?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by The95Writer, Jun 15, 2015.

    For certain essays, I tend to go on a word craze by adding excess terms in one sentence. Some feedback from readers have also noted this and of course, I want to correct this to ensure my readers enjoy my work.

    So, what tips would you give on how to make my writing more readable rather than it looking like a dictionary? Or any articles that share such advice?
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    If a word doesn't add meaning, cut it. Even if this means that glorious baroque sentences are cut to bare sticks. Cut them and cut them, and then look to see what meaning is truly missing. Baroque sentences aren't necessarily bad, but they should pile on layers of meaning instead of fluff.

    Edited to add: I realize that that may not add up to actionable advice. If you have examples, perhaps ones that you could put in the Review Room, you might be able to get more specific advice.
     
  3. BrianIff

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Twain's Cooper's Prose Style and Orwell's Politics and the English Language.
     
  4. No-Name Slob

    No-Name Slob Member Supporter Contributor

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    I have a problem with this, too. I have to make a conscious effort to ask myself if certain sentences come across like they're written by a wordy asshole when I go back and edit. Like, "would I read this and think this author sounds like he used the thesaurus too much?"
     
  5. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Contributor Contributor

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    Avoid purple prose. Ask ten different writers what that means, and you will get ten different answers. However, mine is simple: Don't say "Her crimson, blood red, cherry lips." Use only one. This goes for anything. Unnecessary adjectives is a literary suicide.

    Read what you just wrote out loud. If it sounds strange, it probably is strange. Consider revising.
     
  6. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If a word or phrase doesn't come naturally to you, then it probably doesn't belong. The trick is basically not to try too hard.
     
  7. United

    United Member

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    Do you wish to become a follower of the Orwell? There are many Orwellians out in the world, such as I, and we would gladly accept you into our community. You must read "Politics and the English Language" by our mighty god, Orwell, or at the very least, be familiar with his holiness' "six rules of writing".

    Hurry now, child....before it is too late, before his Orwellianess discovers that you have betrayed the rules of writing.

    Lol.

    But really, you should read Politics and the English Language, or just look up "six rules of writing" by George Orwell.

    If you need any advice/help on your writing, feel free to post an "excerpt/sample" that exemplifies your writing and we can give you feedback.
     

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