In the 40th email from 50 days of writing David Perell explains how to write clear sentences.
David mentions that -
The implicit message of my CLEAR Sentences framework is that you’ll delete most of what you write. Emotionally, it’s painful but your readers will thank you for it. You know you’ve made the necessary edits when your reader thinks they could’ve written what you published so aim to make writing look so easy that you inspire them to copy you. Only then will they feel the weight of your accomplishment.
Let's look into the Clear sentences Framework:
- Create a Rhythm -
Creating a Rhythm references to the sentences you write. Each paragraph must have a rhythm, just as the walk you have when you feel particularly good - Head high, widened shoulders and cheerful smile. It creates a rhythm in your walk. Similarly words create rhythm for your paragraphs.
Short sentences must be used to speed things up. Long sentences to slow things down.
- Link your sentences -
Sentences must follow the previous ones and the next one must follow the second sentence. Just as a train each cabin is linked to each other and the main engine is your idea.
Drive your sentences just as you will connect and drive the train.
- Eliminate anything that adds confusion -
This process will be kind of a system continuation of the Link your sentences. What I mean is, when writing or editing a draft. Read out the article loud and you will find places where the Rhythm or the connectivity of lines miss out. That is where you either bold out to review later or eliminate to make it better even a small percent.
- Add colorful details -
Colorful details refer to the sensation we provide the reader while reading and it can be overdone at times. In order to avoid such situation check out this article from the notes and you will get a better understanding.
- Remove unnecessary details -
Be that editor for your writing who just give feedback to the point or better have another person take the editing. I personally send it to a friend and ask for feedback.
Editing our articles and writings can be tough because it is what we have created. We never want to eliminate anything but remember our writing is not for us. It is for the readers.
I would recommend trying out writing a page for yourself and just vomit every thought you have and get over it. I have tried this a few times and it helped me recognizing that our writing is for the readers and then I edit the drafts.
You can check out articles I have written about my design journey here
In here I just write what I have been going through and learning and it is good for me because that is how I intended it to be for the course part. However, after the course is done I will be breaking down more and interesting topics that will require writing for you. So, the tone of writing may change.
In conclusion, editing articles will be harder than we imagine it to be, but with enough practice we can actually bring out decent articles under our belly.
Thank you for reading.