How To Write With Clarity

By on May 31, 2017
How To Write With Clarity - Writer's Life.org

One of the most useful things you can do for your writing is to make it clear. Clear writing is sharp and precise, it doesn’t use three words when one will do, in short, it makes every word count.

Writing with clarity is so important if you want to reach out to your readers and connect them to your story from the outset. If your writing is cloudy, confusing, and full of unnecessary descriptions and words it is so easy for a reader to get put off.

So what can you do to sharpen up your writing and make sure that you write with more clarity?

Think about the reader

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Always, always keep the reader in mind. If you do this you’ll soon be able to pick out parts of your writing that aren’t clear enough. Remember you need to think like your reader would think and pretend you are seeing your work for the first time. You know your story inside out, but would someone who's not inside your head really get what you are trying to do?

Say what you mean

Don’t beat around the bush - be direct and say what you are trying to say. If you are too subtle you could risk the reader missing your point altogether.

Make tough decisions

Sometimes writing with clarity means you have to accept that just because that word or phrase seems super clever and elegant, it just doesn’t sit right and you need to let it go. It can feel strange and difficult to do this at times but once you have gone through your whole novel, you’ll see how much clearer it reads.

Avoid clichés

Clichés make your writing dull, slow and predictable. You also run the risk of them being lost on the reader and therefore confusing them as well as damaging how your writing comes across.

Write in the active voice

Writing in the active voice brings life and energy to your writing and keeps it direct and sharp. Make sure you always write in the active voice and watch our for instances where you slip into the passive when you come to edit your manuscript.

Write with simplicity

You don’t need to be a walking thesaurus to be a good writer. If a simple sentence delivers the correct meaning then you don’t always need to make it sound more complicated than that. While writers love to use language to create beautiful images, if you overdo it the core of the story will be lost and your reader will be left in the dark - no matter how poetic you might sound.

Don’t dwell

Don’t stay anywhere any longer than you need to. Keep your writing full of energy and movement. Know when it's time to finish a description or end a scene. Writing that stays stagnant can not only become dull but less clear as well.

Writing with clarity will engage your readers and deliver your story to them in a clear and exciting way. So make sure you follow the above tips to keep your writing short, sharp and clear and you'll be surprised what a difference it can make!

 

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

One Comment

  1. Melody

    August 7, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Great tips! “Wordy” writing is always a challenge for me and many others. I use a handy infographic to help keep it in check (I linked my comment name to it in case anyone else wants to use it). It’s based on tips from a book called Writing with Precision: How to Write So That You Cannot Possibly Be Misunderstood, by Jefferson D. Bates.

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