Friday, August 1, 2014

August 2014 - Don't write for your college professor

Who do you write for? Is it your grade school teacher? Is it your high school teacher? Is it your college professor?

Okay, so over your lifetime, you likely wrote for all three of those teachers. They taught you to use words and symbols (the English language) to convey ideas. Yet to write good fiction, you will write for a different audience— "the reader." Your reader.

When writing genre fiction, you write "informally" rather than formally. Formal writing is for literary, academic, or business. But you need the diction, syntax, and vocabulary that a mass-market reader will easily understand. The key words here are "easily understand." How can you tell if you write for the reader? By getting a Flesch-Kincaid score. Just google Flesch-Kincaid and pick one of the free online test sites like

That F-K score tells you how simple or complex comprehension will be for what you wrote. Dr. Seuss comes in at 1.02 for GREEN EGGS AND HAM. That's first grade level. A grade level of 22 would be grad level.

Now, here's the thing— for fiction, you want a score between fourth and eighth grades. That's where the greatest comprehension level for genre stories is said to be. Otherwise, you're writing for yourself— or professors.  By the way, this blog entry came in at 6.21.

So, if curiosity got the better of you and you took the F-K test, won't you share your score, revelations, or thoughts?

September 2014 - Don't shun how-to books unless . . .

WRITE BETTER, LEARN CRAFT --- isn't it time you attended one of my in-person or online workshops?  This fall's schedule is posted here.

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