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How to Reduce Clutter in Your Writing

You might think that with all the writing we do on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, that cluttered writing would be a thing of the past. You’d think it would be spare and to the point more than ever. You’d be wrong.

Outside of platforms where there are clear limits to reading and/or writing capacity, clutter seems to be worse than ever.

Here’s what I wrote today on the Moonlight Press blog…

Moonlight Press

by Patricia J.Parsons

In his book On Writing Well, an absolute must-read for anyone who writes, the estimable William Zinsser presents to us an entire chapter simply titled “clutter.” He begins by telling us that “…fighting clutter is like fighting weeds – the writer is always slightly behind.” This is probably truer these days than ever before as so many people seem to be writing and publishing books just because they can.

There are two ways that we clutter our writing. The first Zinsser describes as using a “laborious phrase which has pushed out the short word which means the same thing.” His example: “At the present time we are experiencing precipitation” rather than clearly stating: “It is raining.”

There is also another kind of clutter that is subtly different and has a different motivation on the part of the writer.

All you have to do is read the…

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Reading, writing & publishing. Doing things differently.

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