Vigorous Writing

Writing vigorously means to write concisely. People rarely pay attention to the way they express their thoughts, both orally and on paper; their speech is often polluted with unnecessary words and phrases, or is inappropriately pompous. However, practice shows that almost any sentence can be written more concisely. mark twain

Why is It Important?

Vigorous writing is directly connected to clarity. The longer the sentence is, the harder it is for a reader to understand the core idea the writer is trying to express underneath their verbal ornaments. One of your main tasks in writing lies in cleaning your sentences from all the unnecessary garbage: numerous words that do not contribute to meaning, inappropriate pomp, parasitic words, lengthy introductory constructions, and so on.

How to Write Vigorously?

1. Get rid of redundant phrasing. Though many words seem necessary in a sentence, many can be deleted. Some of them (called pleonasms) repeat the meaning of other words they are used with (e.g. “true fact,” “6 p.m. in the evening.”) The most typical redundant phrases are the following:

– cooperate together (cooperate)
– basic essentials (essentials)
– 2 a.m. in the morning (2 a.m.)
– in spite of the fact that (though)
– in the event that (if)
– repeat again (repeat)
– particular interest (interest)
– he is a person who… (he is)
– exactly the same (the same)

You can analyze your writing to find even more of the similar meaningless constructions.

2. Use specific words. Vague words make sentences longer, strong words with specific meanings make them shorter, without changing the meaning. Compare the following examples:
A mother asked her son to take his toys scattered around the floor in his room away.
A mother ordered her son to clean the mess in his room.

3. Do not be pompous. This is typical for people who would like their writing to sound smarter and more sophisticated. However, the simplicity of a text is more important than its sound. Compare the following sentences.

The incomprehensible variability of existence can turn any plans a human being makes into transient ashes.
The absurdity of life can interfere with the plans a person makes.


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