#023 - Get-up and Go … being clear & word thrifty!


Looking at our post #23 we listed ten considerations to ensure your 'get-up and go' had simply not 'got-up and gone'. The first two asked you to consider Clarity and a Thrifty approach to the use of words in your writing. So, let's have a quick look at both of them.


Being clear means that although you have a need to get down on paper what you want to say, it's always best to bear in mind, the person who is reading your published work does not know what is coming next. You really need be clear in letting your reader know exactly what is happening in the storyline. Flowery and long descriptive paragraphs can confuse a reader and he or she does not particularly want to have to unravel a puzzle of words in order to find out what is going on with the plot or how a character is handling a specific situation. The simple, honest advice is to be 'Clear' about your subject matter, paragraph by paragraph and chapter by chapter. Pace and action in an historical novel, love story or spy thriller is moved on by the clarity of your writing. If you don't need the words ... as you will find out next ... take them out!

Being Word Thrifty

No matter how many times it's said, the first rule of good writing in general and fiction writing in particular, is to be thrifty with words. Make every single one count and simply put, you will need to be brief. Editing is the key and choosing a writing method where you edit as you go along, session by session, is often a good route to go, especially if you are new to the fiction writing experience. As you edit, search every sentence for a possibly different way of getting your message across. If your main character engages in long periods of conversation, it's a good idea to make sure that such conversation is lean and moves the story and plot forward. Try to side-step the trap of simply producing a series of words that 'bog down' the reader to the point where he or she loses all hope and put's your book down ... to not pick it up again! Finally, avoid like the plague producing a series of words simply to impress yourself, in the hope you may also impress others. This will never be regarded as a demonstration of your excellent command of the English language. It will, in general, have the complete opposite effect!