Wait. Do I mean K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid?
Nope! I mean: Keep It Clear, Stupid. 😀 K.I.C.S. Catchy, no?
As smart as I like to think I am, I didn’t get it.
The author is very cerebral and maybe his intended audience is too, but if he/she is after a more general audience, someone like me should get it the first time through. Or, at least, sort of get it. And that didn’t happen.
I hate to presume, but I think this author could use a read through of the sixteenth piece of advice from…(drum roll, please)…the Writer’s Digest 25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day article! Here it is:
The great film director Billy Wilder was once asked if he liked subtlety in a story. He answered along the lines of, “Yes. Subtlety is good—as long as it’s obvious.” The same can be said about complexity and simplicity. Some stories are so complex that it’s frustratingly impossible to understand them. But others (like Wuthering Heightsor Bleak House) are complex in a way that we don’t find difficult to understand, and actually find enjoyable because of the complexity. Conversely, Hemingway’s famous simple style is in fact very complex.
What really matters is whether or not something is clear. Each day, as you revise the pages from your prior writing session, take a few minutes to ask yourself, “Is this clear? Will the reader understand it?” If you’re not sure, revise until the answer is yes. Don’t be afraid to deal with a complex topic in a complex way, but always keep in mind that clarity will make you the reader’s friend.
When I told the author that I didn’t get it, s/he honestly thought I meant for her/him to ‘dumb it down’. But that’s definitely not what I wanted him/her to do. I said, “Explain it. Better.” Maybe I’ll send this to the author, too. Mr. Morrell says it so much better than I could.