Simply Writing Simple Words

I was elated yesterday to look in on my books at Amazon, and see that a 5-star review showed up for one of the books. It really helped to allay my fears that maybe I should quit writing.

I used to conduct training classes and write training manuals for a weight loss company. I never perceived the manuals to be creative writing, because I was simply writing down everything I said during the classes.

The people attending were from all walks of life – people with high school diplomas to franchise owners with college degrees. I remember my boss telling me that the manuals should be written at about a fifth- to seventh- grade level. He said it was simply for clarity of understanding, and the classes would move along more quickly. Information could be found and taken from the manuals more easily as well.

One of my trainers was trying to improve her vocabulary. It was fine when we were together, and we would laugh at how silly she sounded at times, but I told her she wasn’t to practice her newfound vocabulary words in the classroom. It had to be kept simple.

I’m not the best when it comes to vocabulary, but I’m not ignorant either. Two years of Latin helped me tremendously with the English language. I do get frustrated when I’m reading something (usually nonfiction), and I find myself reading a paragraph(s) over and over again until I understand what I just read. Sometimes the author is kind enough to say, “Simply put …” What was the point of the bloated paragraph full of five dollar words when the simply put version would have sufficed?

I guess that’s how I approach my writing. I don’t need to use a huge vocabulary or five dollar words for the type of book I’m writing. I don’t want to stop the flow of my reader by using a word or words that might cause them to wonder about the context of what they just read.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy reading the work of someone else that goes beyond the simplistic. My thoughts about word choices and writing style helped to put things into perspective for me today. The writing I’m doing is working for me because it’s a style I used years ago.

After I read the positive review, it lit a fire under me, and I was able to write yesterday and add another 3,000 words to my current book. I’m planning to self-publish it in July.

13 thoughts on “Simply Writing Simple Words

    • Well, how kind are you to read some of my early drivel. 🙂 Yes, I recently had some horrible feedback from someone who only read the sample of my first book. It left me sick to my stomach for a while. It was good to get the first *ugly* under my belt though.

  1. who was ugly to you?! I’ll go punch them in the nose for you! We writers have to have thick skin, or we will wither up and die. Not everyone is going to like what we write. But I know those that do dislike us and say so can hurt us like hell. I’m thinking it’s a right of passage. Course I haven’t written/published a book..yet. I may change my mind 🙂

    • Hi Jackie! I’m so glad to see you. My niece and I have been working on the changes to my New York book all evening. I just went to the kitchen, made a homemade frappuccino, and told myself I wasn’t going to bed until I showed up at your blog and caught up with you. And here you are!! 🙂

    • I should have said my niece and I were working on “cover” changes to the New York book.

      People who would have never been interested in my book – like someone who loves Steampunk – would read the sample for the promotion points, and, of course, not like it. They rated the books on a score of 1-10 if they would continue reading. I was sick to my stomach for the entire two months.

      It wasn’t all bad. Some people even bought my book, and I found out later that my “positive” rating was higher than many of the others.

      LOL! I hate warm coffee! 🙂

      • wow Maddie. That is something I will avoid in the future. No wonder you were so upset. Maybe that’s why I don’t like people on the whole. ha! I guess I shouldn’t admit that huh?

        I’m so sorry you had to go through that. That stinks, because you are a good writer and I really enjoy the books, as soon as my tax refund is here I planned on buying the other ones.

        I drink coffee hot, warm, cold. Hi, my name is Jackie and I’m a coffeeholic. 🙂

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