Keep It Simple

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The Daily Post

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. — Jack Kerouac

As writers, words are our tools. The goal of any story, essay, or poem is to express something to the reader. If we choose words that are flimsy and vague, the story loses its potency. By cultivating a strong, sturdy vocabulary upon which we can build our tales, we make our voices that much more powerful.

Years ago, an English teacher of mine asked us to compare two sentences:

I’m thirsty.

I thirst.

Which, he asked, was more gripping for readers? The entire class agreed that I thirst carried with it a sense of urgency and desperation. I’m thirsty meant the same thing, but it didn’t draw such a clear picture. By removing filler words and flowery language — as much as I’m a lover of floral embellishments in my own writing — the meaning…

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