WHY A LOT OF WRITING SUCKS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT
When I first started out writing, all I wanted was to be praised and told how awesome I was. So, I’d set out to look for high-sounding words and work them into my stories.
Looking back now, I realize it was one of the many reasons why my writing sucked.
Using incomprehensible words to sounds smart and intelligent can be stupidity to some extent. It never worked for me.
Now, I always stick to being as simple as I can be. I can’t remember how many times, while growing up, that I had to put down books because I couldn’t get a hold of the meaning of words.
We have to give it to some writers. They really know their craft. Writers like Stephen Kings can those words and go scot-free. I’ve not been so lucky.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that the simpler the writing is, the better the readers will appreciate it. While this may not always be the case, it usually holds true for an higher percentile of readers.
Chimamanda Adichie (Half of a yellow sun?) was once asked why her works are so simple. She replied, in all honesty, that she doesn’t know big-sounding words. Look, how far she’s gone already!
It’s not the number of ‘difficult to understand’ words that makes for good writing. It’s using the best choice of words to clearly express yourself.
Writing to express outclasses writing to impress
Few months ago, I was handing a project. I has gone about quarter way. I got a call from my mentor who I was writing for at that point. We engaged in that conversation for more than thirty minutes where he was correcting my works. He made many corrections that day. However, one kept ringing in my ears. He said, “Your aim should be clarity. You must be clear at all times. That advice stuck.
He said whether writing fiction or nonfiction, you should aim to be as clear as possible. He said they should never be a time when your readers are not clear about what you are saying. And I think if everyone follows this process ( by everyone I mean everyone just starting out), they would find that writing can be an enjoyable process.
I decided to leave the big-sounding words, at least for now, for the already established authors. I will get there but in my time. So, for now, I’m content writing posts and stories that expresses my mind in the clearest way possible.
I began to see improvement in my writing when I took to this advice. I began to block all the gaps and leaks in my writing (and they were many).
Tomorrow, I’m going to be writing on common errors to look our for in writing. I think there are quite a number of things to learn. One of them (spoiler alert) is the frequent use of adverbs.
Stephen kings said, “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
If Stephen kings has been in the industry for years, had many New York Times bestsellers, and has seen many of his books turned into movies, you should listen to him.
Till tomorrow then.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as I enjoyed writing.
PS: I’m beginning the outlining process for the next installment of my novella series. My mind has been going many directions already. There are many twists and turns to employ that I’m still at a loss on what I should do. However, I do know the goals I’ve set. What matters now is that the outline reflects the goals being considered…