I had an epiphany recently and I’m not sure if I should apply it to my blog or not. Or how much I should apply it. Or where in my LIFE I should apply it. Yeah, helpful right? I know. My brain so often is (not). Well, the epiphany came while reading yet another writing blog (surprise surprise!) I’ve read this piece of advice hundreds of times but I guess I thought it didn’t apply to me…? I dunno. I’m the kind of person that will stare at a picture and not realize I’m staring at a bird until a few minutes later. Yeahhhhhh…..
Basically, the advice was to BE CLEAR [IN YOUR WRITING].
Theoretically I get it. I’ve already started applying the sage advice that is generally bulleted under this umbrella concept like “Delete the words VERY and JUST” from your writing; “Use -ly adverbs sparingly” and “keep setting descriptions brief”. Those are just details that make up the whole though.
So how can I apply the “BE CLEAR” concept to my writing as a whole? I broke this down into three categories which separate into three different types of writing that I do: BLOG, STORY, and PERSONAL/FOR FUN.
Firstly, for my BLOG, do exactly this– GET RIGHT TO THE POINT. I noticed that I have a tendency to ramble here. Just a bit. A lotta bit. Or at least, definitely do not get to the point right away. I do try to put in catchy titles to grab reader’s interest so hopefully they’ll hang in there to read what I have to say. But….I really need to stop that. My style of writing thus far was to start soft and gradually ease into the important stuff, like tip toeing into a cold pool. But maybe I’m wrong. Because I know that it annoys the crap out of me when other people do it (unless I know the blogger and follow religiously).
When I read a blog, I want to get to the nitty-gritty. I want what I came here for and thankfully, most writing blogs have figured this out. Hooray for writing! But other kinds of blogs, like food blogs (my other favorite guilty blog pleasure) or crafting DIY blogs, I have to scroll past pages and pages of photos and chit-chat just to get to what I want–the INFO. So from now on I will try to be more concise about my info and make my point sooner. Yes, you’re welcome. But I’ll still be me!!
Secondly, for my STORY WRITING, the “BE CLEAR” concept is less about getting to the point and more about cutting the fatty descriptions and unnecessary dialogue. Authors and teachers recommend giving just enough description to give the reader a vague idea about where they are and then let them fill in the rest. David Eddings sometimes goes on and onnnnn with his descriptions so my eyes tend to skip whole paragraphs. But I’ve also read books where there was NO cushion whatsoever and it sounded disjointed and was very obviously sparse. I think this is more a matter of time and practice than getting it right RIGHT NOW but I still like to keep this in mind when I write for NaNoWriMo or edit my novels.
Lastly, for PERSONAL writing…well I just don’t give a crap about this when I write for myself. I usually never go back and read my diary entries so there’s no need to be concise or straight to the point. It’s done mainly to get out self-loathing or frustration and who wants to really go back and read that? FOR FUN writing is basically the same idea. I don’t generally care about rules when I write my sappy dappy love stories or maim the rude person who cut me off while driving in some flash fiction. After all, you know what they say about all work and no play… 😉
So, how did I do? This blog is considerably shorter than my other ones. Look what happens when I cut out the fluff! To my eyes it looks vague actually. Like maybe I should have added more examples or talked more but then that borders on “filler”. So I’ll leave it with this.
BE CLEAR friends. If you have to skip whole paragraphs of your blog or stories when you edit it, chances are your readers will too. Just…yeah keep that in mind, alright?
Peace out! Keep writing!