Friday, February 7, 2014

Today's Writing Tip Is on Clarity

Sometimes when we write quickly, we don't think about the way a reader may interpret our sentences. We know what we want to say, but readers don't necessarily. That can lead to confusion or inaccuracies. Take the following sentence:

"In the winter, my aunt has osteoporosis and is afraid of falling." Really? Your aunt only has osteoporosis in the winter? I'd love to know how she makes it disappear in the summer. Or is she just afraid of falling in the winter? Or she is more afraid of falling in the winter than at any other time of year? A better way to phrase that sentence would be like this: "My aunt has osteoporosis. She is afraid of falling, especially in the winter."

It's easy to catch these sentences if you reread your material and make clarity a top priority in your writing.

Sigrid Macdonald is the author of three full-length books and two short stories. She provides copyediting services along with manuscript evaluations and can be found at  



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