I was prompted to write this after reading an article that stated that the following paragraph—sentence really—has “seven brilliant attributes that are hallmarks of great writing.”
Lucy Anguiano, Texas girl who smells like corn, like Frito Bandito chips, like tortillas, something like that warm smell of nixtamal or bread the way her head smells when she’s leaning close to you over a paper cut-out doll or on the porch when we are squatting over marbles trading this pretty crystal that leaves a blue star on your head for that giant cat-eye with a grasshopper green spiral in the center like the juice of bugs on the windshield when you drive to the border, like the yellow blood of butterflies.
The above paragraph from Sandra Cisneros My Friend Lucy Who Smells Like Corn may be exquisitely written for some, but for the average reader who wants a simple escape into an entertaining read, the paragraph is excessively worded and seems never ending. I lost interest in reading it one quarter into it.
The average reader wants to sink into a book with a great plot and characters they can relate to. They want to be entertained. They don’t want to spend their time reading convoluted and confusing sentences where too many unnecessary words get in the way and require so much concentration they end up not enjoying the reading experience.
Less is more in writing. Don’t waste time throwing in unnecessary words. If your story has a good plot and relatable characters, drowning it with unnecessary words that will end up turning the reader off. If the sky is blue, say just that. Keeping your story simple and entertaining will attract more readers.
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