Readers understand and remember material far better when it is expressed in concrete language that allows them to form visual images. So trying to make the reader “see” is a good goal and being concrete has huge effects.
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Don't increase the complexity of your vocabulary just to give the impression of intelligence. This actually makes you look stupid.
Treat the reader as an equal. If you’re trying to impress, at best you will make the reader feel dumb. And nobody likes to feel dumb.
Tell the reader what your point is. And tell them early. People need a reference point so they can follow what you’re saying. Without it, they’re lost.
Suspense isn’t useful if people have no idea what you’re talking about and quit reading after the first paragraph.
Once you know something you assume others do too. It’s human nature. And that leads to bad writing.
'The curse of knowledge' refers to the inability that we all have in imagining what it’s like not to know something that we do know.
Anyone who wants to improve their writing needs to read a lot.
Becoming a writer requires reading examples of good prose, giving you something to aspire to and allowing you to become sensitive to the hundreds of things that go into a good sentence that couldn’t possibly be spelled out one by one.
Your words won't come out perfectly from the beginning. You have to spend time honing them.
1. Actually write
2. Watch out for repetition (and annihilate it)
3. Weed out clichés
4. Aim for clean, filler-free prose
5. Read... a lot! In a wide range of genre
6. Read again, with a pencil in hand
7. Choose personal over formulaic
8. Experiment to keep your style fresh
9. Sharpen your opening and ending
10. Never forget the big picture
You can become a better writer by simply becoming more aware of your surroundings.
Writing is mostly strategy. And a big part of writing strategy lies in listening.
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