3 Ways to Make Your Writing Clearer and More Engaging

By Bamboo Forest

Your ideas may be superb while floating in your cranium. Once they get to paper, however, if they’re difficult to understand or blandly presented, their impact will be compromised. Blogging’s at its best when ideas are expressed clearly and compellingly.

The following three strategies will assist you:

1. Move confusing sentences to a clean page

Ever been whistling along with your blog post when suddenly you arrive at a thought you’re trying to express on paper, yet it’s being completely uncooperative like a toddler who refuses to eat his brussels sprouts?

If you’re dealing with a bratty sentence that doesn’t want to be clear and concise, don’t let it just sit there misbehaving. You have to discipline it. To do so, move the disorderly sentence away from your post, onto an empty page.

Once you’ve pasted the confusing sentence into clear, white space, begin formulating a new sentence underneath it. By moving the confusing sentence outside of your post and onto an empty page, you won’t be distracted by the rest of your writing. The singularity of focus gained will help you create a better, clearer sentence.

Sometimes it’s helpful when pasting the confusing sentence to include the surrounding sentences for context.

2. Replace a word used in consecutive sentences when it’s monotonous

I’ll use an example from a blog post I wrote that uses a river as a metaphor. Pay close attention to how the word ‘rushing’ is used in two consecutive sentences.

Here’s the original segment:

“Do you hear the sound of the water rushing over the rocks? Tell me… when you hear the rushing water, when are you hearing it; in the past or the future? Neither. It’s only possible to hear this precious sound in the now.”

Do you notice how the word ‘rushing’ used in these consecutive sentences sounds monotonous? Using this word consecutively dulls the delivery because it’s repetitive to the reader’s ear. Instead, it’s best to replace one of the usages of ‘rushing’ with a synonym or something close to it.

Look at the improved version with the second use of ‘rushing’ replaced with a new word:

“Do you hear the sound of the water rushing over the rocks? Tell me… when you hear the babbling water, when are you hearing it; in the past or the future? Neither. It’s only possible to hear this precious sound in the now.”

Much better sounding prose, no? In the aforementioned example, replacing one of the usages of ‘rushing’ actually fosters a more vivid picture in the reader’s mind. A thesaurus can help you come up with a good replacement for a word that’s detrimentally used twice in a row.

3. Don’t over explain

Our writing often gives enough information so that the reader will understand what you’re conveying even if you didn’t specify every last detail. If you’re determined to give information that your readers will discern without your help, you’ve bloated your writing and slowed its delivery.

In the book On Writing, Stephen King reminds us, “If I tell you that Carrie White is a high school outcast with bad complexion and a fashion-victim wardrobe, I think you can do the rest, can’t you? I don’t need to give you a pimple-by-pimple, skirt-by-skirt rundown.”

The above principle applies equally to non-fiction.

Earlier I told you that when you’re dealing with a confusing sentence, you should move it onto an empty page and construct a clearer sentence underneath to take its place.

I also added this:

“Sometimes it’s helpful when pasting the confusing sentence to include the surrounding sentences for context.”

You’ll notice I didn’t specify how many surrounding sentences you should include because that’s something you’ll determine yourself, right?

When writing for your audience, always make clarity and engagement the highest priority.

About the Author: Bamboo Forest created Tick Tock Timer, an online timer that helps bloggers increase their focus and get more work.

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14 Responses to “3 Ways to Make Your Writing Clearer and More Engaging”

  • Michael Martine

    Great tips, Bamboo. Another tip I recommend is to determine beforehand your main point and state it in the first sentence. Do not “warm up” to it (if you do, delete those sentences). Your writing will not only be clearer, it will be stronger and more compelling.

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      Good tip. Thanks for sharing.

    • Maaike Quinn

      I use this one as well.

      Also, when I can’t find a good last sentence, usually it helps to simply delete the last sentence I wrote. Most of the time the lines left will be just right.

  • Vivek Parmar

    Great tips and nice write-up, you have to have a creativity in your writing because without this no one can write clearer and make readers engaging

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      I feel that part of an engaging piece of writing is clarity! Clarity itself can create interest for the reader.

  • Toby

    Yep absolutely – your keyword there is engagement. If you can engage and excite the reader they’ll not only read but hopefully come back for more, telling their friends – viral marketing – great

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      Absolutely… if they’re engaged it means they’re enjoying your writing just like when I’m eating a good meal… I’m very engaged 😉 And will want to eat that meal again.

      Crazy analogy, but pretty much accurate.

  • HP van Duuren

    Thanks, those are great tips!

    On my – Writing Lifestyle Blog – I also have a post with a Video titled: ‘3 secrets of becoming a fantastic writer’

    The video has 3 (more general) – secrets – complete with practical examples. Your way’s to make writing clearer and engaging complement it nicely.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy – Blogging – Inspiration,
    HP

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      Glad you found the post useful.

      Your video sounds interesting.

  • Maria Pavel

    Also, try structuring your ideas.

    *the starting*

    text

    idea 1 title
    idea 1 text

    idea 2 title
    idea 2 text

    idea 3 title
    idea 3 text

    talking

    *the end*

    The more structured the information comes, the easier it is to read and asimillate. Great article, thanks for sharing !

    Best regards,

    Maria

    • Rafiqul Islam

      Thanks Maria,
      Your process of structuring an article is very nice and helpful. I’m not a native English. So there may be some problems with my sentence structure. What can I do for that? Will you please tell me explicitly? And if you illustrated the process shown above little bit broadly we would be benefited. Anyway, thanks for your comment.

  • Rafiqul Islam

    I have recently started blogging for the first time. So I was searching the web to learn writing effective articles. And I got many thing here because it’s very simply written here. From now on I must follow this blog. Because I want to learn the best of blogging. Hope I am going to discover many things here in dailyblogtips.

  • Roger

    Thanks, I needed this. I can’t see anyone not needing to use these tips. My problem is not over explaining sometimes, but rather the need for writing enough information I feel. On the other hand, if readers understand clearly what I’m saying, then maybe I get the point across in enough words.

  • Kavya Hari

    Now, people are copying the articles from the others sites and paste it here, but its too bad to copy the other person articles. So, you have to write your contents in your own words with the short and sweet. And,off course. it will attract the folks with the best support.

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