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Finding My Writing Style: Clean June 6, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in On Writing, Study.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One thing I have been trying to do during this course is to try and develop a particular writing style.  A style that’s distinctive and one that I feel comfortable with.  Perhaps it stems from my fear of being “discovered” as an untalented writer, but I’ve been trying to write in a clear and straightforward manner — not use any unnecessary big or “flowery” words or clutter the narrative with too many descriptions.  Get to the point.  No wasting time or mucking around, I guess.

Since adopting this approach, in two separate classes, two lecturers reviewing two different pieces of my writing have said that my narrative writing style is “clean”.  I don’t exactly know what that means.  Is “clean” just another word for “shit”?

Both narrative pieces have been short stories, so I’m not sure if this style will translate nicely to a longer piece, like say a novel.

Another bit of constructive feedback I received is that I still have a tendency to over-explain things.  Sometimes I worry that a reader won’t understand the point that I am trying to get through, so I end up spelling out the meaning for them, or add in an extra line of dialogue just to make sure it’s clear.  My lecturer tells me it’s about having more confidence in the intelligence of my reader, but I think it’s about having more confidence in my ability to get a point across.


1. shylockbooks - June 6, 2010

It’s funny that you use the “clean” analogy. I use the actual cleaning activity as a way to prevent writer’s block! Great post!

2. uioae - June 6, 2010

I think if the reader doesn’t get it, you just leave them be. Go the clean writing.

3. Nate - June 8, 2010

after reading tons of books that either gave away too much description of just about everything and/or were pretty spare in terms of description leaving it up to you to decided what/how everything looked like, I decided to simply write without worrying about description and allow the story to tell me when or what needed description and what didn’t.

4. j-a brock - June 9, 2010

‘clean’ is good! it means easy to read. personally, i prefer a ‘clean’ style, and it will translate just fine into a longer work like a novel. it’s the plot length that is different, not the writing style!

pacejmiller - June 11, 2010

thanks j-a!

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