U – Unsaid

April 24, 2013 by KWills

As you may have gathered by now, I can be, on occasion, prone to verbosity.  Redundant repetition bedevils my prose, and I’m a bit long-winded.  I rarely use one word where ten will do.

Which makes it more than a little hypocritical of me to mutter “ooh do get on with it” when encountering long-windedness in others.  I’ve just finished reading and reviewing a book over at Authonomy, and I wrote, “…the pacing suffers in places from your tendency to explain your jokes.”  It was true, but even as I wrote that sentence I was aware that I am guilty of exactly the same thing.

It is often a case of underestimating the reader.  I write something that I think is funny or interesting, and then I get struck by the fear that people won’t understand.  So I make it clearer.  And then explain it again, for anyone who was asleep the first time.  Then once more, because I can.  By now it is no longer funny, or interesting.  It is boring, and an insult to the reader’s intelligence.

Here’s my new writerly resolution: Know when to shut up.

 

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