Technical Thursday: Simplify Your Writing

13 Nov

Less is More!

Skill: Five Words, Not Fifty-  Whenever possible, try to express your ideas in as few words as possible.

Somewhere along the way, we have been taught that complicated, wordy writing equals good writing.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The whole point of writing is to communicate ideas.  Cloaking simple ideas in complicated wording defeats this purpose.  I believe it was Bruce Lee who said “Simplicity is the height of sophistication.”  In martial arts, as in many arts, the most effective manuevers are usually the most basic.

Review this web page on writing sleek sentences.

In your notebook, rewrite the following overly-complicated sentences:

1. We are no longer able to reconcile; therefore, attorneys will be used to effect the dissolution of our marriage.

2. The weather had adverse impacts on our boat resulting in the necessity to rescue us from the water.

3. The leak in the bottom of the boat was due to poor maintenance on the part of the crew.

Next, go through your writing portfolio folder and look for three sentences or group of sentences that can be simplified.  Write the original sentence in your notebook, followed by the simplified version.

Writing Piece #1 Due Tomorrow!

Tomorrow you must bring your type, 100 word story to class.

For this writing piece you will be writing a story of exactly 100 words, no more or less. Here are the guidelines:

  • The story must be exactly 100 words (not 99, 98 or 101… only 100 words).
  • You must use two Skills. (A complete list of skills is on the right hand side of this web page).
  • 1 Vocabulary word

Also, you must do any of the following:

  • Write a story that takes place entirely in a character’s head.
  • Focus your story on one tiny detail or item.
  • Write a story made up of mostly 3 word sentences.
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