Most Important Writing Rule

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!

Dear Maggie,

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?

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About aakemp

I am a fiction writer and freelance writer/proofreader with excellent research abilities as well. What I offer is high quality writing done in a smooth, logically consistent and error-free manner. No fluff ever with my writing! Just intelligent, interesting copy. My novels include the young adult fantasy, "The Dragons of Atlantis" and the thriller/mystery, "Beneath the Smoke," available on Amazon's Kindle program. Also "The Dragons of Atlantis" is available on OffTheBookshelf.com as an ebook or hard copy.
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