Keep It Short and Simple (or Keep It Simple, Stupid)

I regularly write articles. Before they are published, I always revisit, and realise how poor my first attempt generally is.

Writing simply does not make you a simpleton, it merely means you may be understood.

So, if I get stuck, I use the KISS technique – keep it short and simple.

A recent article just wasn’t working for me.
Is that sheep truly sticking its tongue out at me?

Normally, a spot of judicious word removal works wonders. Cleaning up the odd word here and there can work amazingly, like removing a piece of fluff from a recently valeted car.

That’s how I started, but it wasn’t working.

Checking, I noted the original article had just under 1200 words – way too long.
It felt clunky.
It felt clumsy.
It felt a bit boring.

So, I deleted words, whole sentences, and at one stage a whole paragraph. Oh, the liberation of being daring with the delete button.
I used more overtly descriptive words to remove superfluous ones.
First edit down and we were looking at 898 words.
So, 300 words gone in a fairly ruthless swipe.

Then, I did it all over again! Moved some words around, too.

The resulting article was fresher, more incisive, relevant and appropriate/fit for purpose.

Sometimes, less is more.

We don’t need to box clever, we just need to say it like it is.

Succinct but maybe not quite enough …

Editing can be mighty scary. Your words feel precious, you’ve worked hard to get them out.

Yet, sometimes, they just don’t work.

You read something back to yourself and think: no!

Then is the time to have the courage to slash and burn.

KISS it goodbye, if needs be, though usually nothing is that drastic. More things are salvageable and can, with effort, and daring, be made to work.