Great Simple Tips for Clarify in Your Writing
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Hemingway
You may have read my previous posts for cleaning up your writing so it reads smoothly for your readers. Every detail you can implement to help your readers absorb your message easily is important.
Here are three more tips:
- Eliminate “that” in certain circumstances
In many instances, “that” is clearly needed to describe something. But for the remainder, let’s look at how to eliminate it:
“I found that adding more baking powder to my cookie batter makes them fluffier.”
“I found adding more baking powder…” [did you miss “that”?]
It makes perfect sense without “that.” Use clarity whenever possible.
2. Use of “thing”
Face it (be honest) how many “things” do we simply use the word “thing”? You’ll find with a little more effort, you will discover a better word to replace it.
3. Adverbs like very, really, just, still
It’s a tough habit to break, but if you look back through your writing and posts, you will see how often you use adverbs to describe something that does not need additional description.
– Is it a “really rare jewel,” or is it simply a rare jewel? If it’s rare, it’s rare. Calling it “really rare” only adds an unnecessary word to the sentence.
– Was that a “really difficult task” you had to do or was it a “difficult task”?
Same idea goes for “still.”
– “I was still reflecting …” “ I still call him, ‘Papa’ …” “I still do the same thing …”
I was reflecting, I call him Papa, I do the same thing … The list goes on.
Eliminate it, and nothing is lost. Write as clearly as possible and your readers will appreciate it.