Archive | February 18, 2013

Don’t Try To Dazzle Them With Multisyllabic Vocabulary

If reading is a choreyour readers will give up

If reading is a chore
your readers will give up

Always think twice when you use big words. They are exhausting. You won’t impress anybody. Contrary to what you may have learned in public school composition class, it is not good writing.

It doesn’t matter if you know what the word means, and it doesn’t matter if your audience might. I’m serious. Unless you are an academic egghead (and that term is not used in a derogatory sense), using words in a technical journal, those high-priced words have no useful function. They are clutter. Use the simplest words you can. Make things easier to read. It will be more interesting.

New writers are confused on this point. Even more confused than they are with active vs. passive ‘Show, don’t tell’. (That is another post and I will get to it soon.)

If I, as an editor, get bogged down and bleary-eyed reading word-heavy descriptions just think how your readers will feel. Your book, assuming it ever gets published let alone purchased, may end up being the cure for someone’s insomnia. That is not the kind of review you want to see on Amazon. I won’t spend the countless hours necessary to clean the writing up, and you should be grateful for that. I charge by the hour. Do your own slash and burn.