What was so captivating about that book that kept you reading till the end in one sitting? It’s the language. The writer clearly understood the secret of using simple language.
Several upcoming writers have been made to believe that the audience are captivated and impressed by big words and complex expressions. On the contrary, renowned writers and Nobel Prize winners have discovered that writing in simple language captivates readers more. The audience’s purpose of reading is to understand and learn. Writing with simplicity doesn’t dumb down your words, but makes them readable and understandable, and more enjoyable.
Ernest Hemingway was a journalist and novelist. A storyteller. He’s one of the great writers of literature. In 1953, he won the Pulitzer prize for “The Old Man and the Sea.” In 1954, he won the Nobel prize for literature. However, there is something unique about his writings. This Nobel prize winner writes in such simple prose, he can even entertain 10-year olds.
Simple language makes your content more accessible.
Writing clearly and precisely makes your piece accessible to readers of different age groups and gender. Using big words, complex and long sentences restrict your audience to people in the same class with you. And these people may not be as many as you think. To put your writings in the hands of many people, it is vital to maintain simplicity in your language use. Your readers should be able to relate with your message without picking up a dictionary for every sentence they read.
For instance, Martin Luther caused many Germans to develop interest in reading the Bible by publishing the Luther Bible. The Luther Bible was the German translation of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew, which the commoners don’t have access to. He captivated the audience by writing in the language of the majority. To help him in translating into contemporary German, Luther would make forays into nearby towns and markets to listen to people speaking. He wanted to ensure their comprehension by translating as closely as possible to their contemporary language usage.
Before you write, understand the language style of your audience: how they speak and even write, and contextualize your writing. The focus should be about writing the essence of your idea and communicating it in simple words.
Simple language makes your ideas more thoughtful.
Writing clearly is an exercise in thinking deeply. It takes deep thinking and attentiveness to break down lumps in your writing, thus making them easy to comprehend for your least educated reader. It means you have carefully chosen the right expressions and descriptions to drive home your idea. Good writers don’t just use metaphors, they select the ones that ring the best in the reader’s mind.
The choice of style in writing should not just show the expertise of a writer, but also his ability to analyse and understand what his audience wants. The uniqueness of the writing should captivate readers and keep their eyes glued to the book.
So, when next you are engaged in any writing assignment, consider captivating your readers with simple, yet poignant, language.