Let’s Be Clear
Copywrite: March 12, 2020
by Lydia Nolan
Clarity is a technique that qualifies a writer’s talent. Clarity reveals a meticulously calculative mind; a mind of careful focus & organization.
For a writer who wishes to be good at conveying a message this technique must be practiced and perfected. It is a technique that should be found in both fiction and non-fiction, and being able to perfect clarity is a better experience for the reader. After all, is it not what a writer desires to accomplish, that the reader craves more from the writer’s work? Of course it is.
Let’s talk about Words:
In many cases, excessive words may cloud the clarity of a writer’s message, especially if the message is important for the reader to understand. In simpler terms, when a writer wishes to relay an important message less words should be used. The deeper and more complicated the message, the more clear and succinct the writer’s narrative must be. Let’s put this claim to the test.
- ”Don’t bother trying to be better than your predecessors or contemporaries. Try to be better than yourself.”
- “I don’t need to compete against others. I am my own competition.”
What is the message? Which is more succinct and clear?
The first sentence is from the writer, William Faulkner. This is a sentence for those who enjoy leisure when reading, and simplicity of message is not necessarily what they are looking to find in their activity. Also, the 18c. writers used much more words when writing because writing as literary art was applauded for its narrative embellishments. Plain shorthand was left to the boring practical black and white writers, like bankers, accountants and clerks.
This is not so in the 21st century due to limited time.Therefore, if I want to get the same point across in a hurry, the second message has no frills and is easily understood. Further, your audience has a lot to do with how you deliver your message and the level of comprehension. Your wording and sentence length is therefore a significant consideration and could be enhanced or detracted from according to the plot and character movements within the narrative, intermittently.
I try always to consider what it is that makes for good writing. As I read various authors I may find simplicity and complexity in the same book, but in the right timing and for different reasons. This is an important concept to understand.
Here is an example. If I am writing a book about quantum mechanics a section on a formulaic concept which is complicated and meant only for scientists do not need simplicity. However, if I am writing a fictional narrative or creative non-fiction about quantum mechanics and my audience is a general one, I don’t necessarily need to pose the exact formula, but instead I want to reflect its purpose or what it does and the actual formula may be embedded into the consequences of what it can do, not the formula itself.
As for me, I write literary fiction. I mean for my readers to enjoy a great deal and be entertained by my work. But I also want them to understand any special code or meaning I deliver, and to be emotionally impacted by what I have shared with them. I want them to walk away remembering my work or story, or whatever it is I wrote, and then I want readers to look forward to reading more of my works. I want them to be changed by it, and better for it.
My aim is to impact this generation and those beyond this one. When I die I hope I continue through my writings and be of help, giving hope and love to every generation afterwards. My legacy will be the thoughts I leave behind in my writing.
It is not hard for anyone to understand then, that I see writing as a sacred act. In my case, I aspire to do the best possible work I can accomplish before I leave this planet. If you are a writer I hope you feel that way, too.