Somewhere, in the multitude of writing tips I’ve encountered was one that made sense: write in a way that makes it easy for your readers to follow. If they stumble over difficult passages or poorly-constructed sentences, you’ll likely lose them.
You do not want to lose your readers. No kidding, right? Even if you write for yourself, you may even find yourself stumbling over your own writing.
My recent experiences reviewing the works of other authors have profoundly pointed out how easy it is to make life difficult for readers. I believe that such reviewing – especially of works written by, shall we say, less talented writers – has served to point out to me where my own writing can be improved, as well as that of others.
Probably the most common mistake I’ve been encountering has to do with not enough commas. Now commas are designed for one main purpose, I think, and that is to help the natural rhythm of a passage, to encourage pauses where they’re needed, and to prevent words and clauses from running together. Such run-together sentences usually demand two or three readings to understand them.
What a great way to lose your readers! What a great way to relegate your works to that great realm of unknown authors!
You know I really don’t see a need for commas every time you put in a clause or something like that ’cause the readers can figure things out like you know how the words are supposed to go together like zombies not to confuse them with normal people can somehow figure out I guess most of the time who the real zombies are and who aren’t warm-bloodedness notwithstanding.
You get the picture?