Don’t Forget What Supports Good Writing

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There is several things I eluded to recently that cause me to reign in my ideals about writing good?

Who read that and thought, “Has she lost her mind?!”

People who think grammar, word choice, and punctuation aren’t all that important don’t seem to understand that those elements are necessary for clear communication. Clarity of writing is the target we all (except maybe politicians, legislators, and lawyers) must strive for.

Any business knows that clearly and precisely outlining the benefits of the products or services it offers means success.

What happens when we ignore the guidelines for good writing? One thing is that we make our readers work too hard. If the reader has to go back several times in a sentence to try to “translate” what the writer means, the reader is forced to concentrate on the mechanics rather than the meaning.

Worse than that, we all know what happens when people have to fill in the blanks of intention. In the old game of telephone, a message is whispered along to each player in a line until, by the end, what comes out barely resembles the original message. Let’s not provide an environment of obscurity.

We need to remember that grammar is the infrastructure that supports the easy flow of communication while precision with words is the traffic light that guides the reader to the idea.

We write to share – to provide information, evoke emotion, or persuade. If we ignore the elements that create good writing, we fail to communicate.

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Forget What Supports Good Writing

  1. "Reign" — do you really mean "rein" to check or limit you?    Barbara S. RivetteWriter & Historian315-687-9334This e-ma

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  2. One of my writing instructors was fond of saying “First you need to thoroughly understand the rules, then you can know when to break them.”
    She explained that any time a writer does something strange, audiences are going to get confused. In this situation there are two possibilities: either the author is intentionally breaking a rule, in which case they are trying to communicate something about the story through this choice, or the author just made a mistake.
    The key is to ensure that audiences trust the writer enough to know that every grammatical error is intentional and has an underlying meaning behind it.
    Once audiences start to doubt the writer, the experience becomes a labor of wadding through and deciphering what they actually meant, a chore that will prompt most audiences to simply give up.

    Liked by 1 person

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