Simplicity- The Elemental Thing Of Great Writing

What are the reasons why children’s writers often become famous and outstanding? Let’s see an example of Ronald Dahl which is one of my favorite. His intended readers are children. But he is popular and some of his book have been made films. It is because his writing was contrived in a Simplicity.



His style is simple and easy to follow. Read one of his books if you have not done so yet to find out what I mean. Is it not true that we enjoy stories that are easy to follow? Is it not true that most of the books you put away are the ones that are complex and hard to follow? I am sure the answer is yes. Why should you read a book when your head aches in the process? Why would you bother to read a book when you get nothing after reading several pages? But aren’t there some complex works that people love still? That is quite true. As an example, we may cite Shakespeare. True, Shakespeare has moved a goodly amount of souls, but most of his works are anything but easy….


But is it not true that people start loving Shakespeare’s works only when they are able to understand them? Yes, some complex writings have indeed gained some popularity, but that is only because they have been analysed and interpreted for us by some clever people. Believe me, none of these works could ever mean anything to us if they can’t be interpreted nor understood. A good number of my fellow countrymen and women know little of Shakespeare, save that he wrote a lot of complex stuff. Perhaps it is because Shakespeare is hardly analysed in Zambian Schools.


So in the end, the works that rock are the ones that display…SIMPLICITY, and nothing but artfully contrived simplicity. There are a good number of would-be writers who believe that to be a good writer means to be able to employ big dictionary words and complex expressions. Wrong, wrong, WRONG! That is totally wrong. Good writers are those whose writing can be understood, and thus appreciated. If a person’s writing is ambiguous because of the overuse of unnecessary and complex words, then he is far from a good writer. In fact, he has a lot to learn. He has to learn the art of…SIMPLICITY. He has to learn to write clearly and concisely. He has to learn to write with SIMPLICITY.


But one may ask: suppose I am writing for a highly educated audience? Shouldn’t my writing be complex? The answer is no. Your writing should still be understandable to your target audience. Say, for instance, that you are writing a book for doctors. You’d employ language peculiar to that profession; words complex to the average person but understandable to them; language they can easily follow. It is nearly as easy to confuse a highly educated audience as it is a less educated one. So don’t do it just because you can! Even highly educated people will single out the books that they can easily understand and follow. So you see, even for the highly educated, SIMPLICITY RULES!


But I am not saying that you can’t use complex language at all. You can use a few complex terms and expressions to spice up your writing. However, you should use them in discreet amounts, just like you use salt. Too much and your writing will be unpalatable! People will even begin to think that you are proud and mean. But the use of complex terms is not only what complicates writing. There is bad grammar, overuse of passive voice and overuse of colloquialism, to mention just a few. So to write simply, you’ll need to pay attention to grammar. I cannot help mentioning that I do love sprinkling my works with a few complex terms, but only because I know they can be understood, and that my readers won’t be confused beyond redemption. So always remember this rule: SIMPLICITY RULES. And also this one: SIMPLICITY IS THE MOTHER OF GREAT PIECES OF WRITING.


Here are a few tips to help you write clearly:

Use more of the active voice.
Use shorter sentences.
Lay off unnecessarily big words.
use language conversant to your target readers.


Believe me, if you follow these rules, and more importantly, if you write with simplicity,your writing is bound to rock, and make the whole world merry. So go ahead and… WRITE WITH SIMPLICITY. This article appeared in its original context at

Michael Sinkolongo.

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