Do your favorite authors dumb down their writing to attract more readers, and do you?
I saw a reference to this practice on a HP post recently and it got me wondering. I had never even thought about doing this. Just wondering if it is widespread on HP and beyond.
I'm not sure what you mean by "dumb down". If you're asking if I write in a way that I can relay the information in such a way that almost anyone can understand it, the answer is yes. I could easily write medical or scientific hubs using all of the big words a lot of people would have to look up, but I'm writing to inform the general public, not to get published in a technical journal. If by "dumb down" you mean writing articles that don't teach anything, the answer is no - or perhaps I should say, not very often. I'd have to say that the people I follow on HP are the same way. That's why I follow them. I love to learn and they provide informative hubs which entertain at the same time.
With how-to's and product reviews, writing in simple language and simple sentences isn't necessarily dumbing something down, it's just making sure your reader can follow a procedure or understand the features and limitations of a product.
I don't know how that translates to other types of articles on HP. The only thing I've found that makes money on HP is how-to's and product reviews.
Uhhh... yeah, sure, I do. I got no truck with usin' them big words whut makes mah brain hurt.
It's easy to confuse 'dumbed down' with 'clear' or 'concise'. Stephen King mentions this a little in his book 'On Writing' but it's one of those situations where you have to ask yourself what word would be better? The big, long, confusing word, or the simple, straight-to-the-point word. As the reader, I might understand the big word, but that doesn't mean it helps the story. More often than not, using big words only slows the pacing and makes the author look a bit pretentious. Telling a good story is all about propelling your reader across the page. Make them want to read more; immerse them in the world. Sometimes we don't even notice simple words like 'said'. But 'John said' flows better than 'John postulated'. Writing is an art form and, like a painting, people want to see something that is simply beautiful, not 'technically' beautiful.
Great insights here. I do wonder about some novelists, though. I've been reading Safe Haven and I noticed there aren't any 'big words'. I never notice this when I see movies based on Sparks' books. Have you read any of his stuff?
I've never personally read any of Nicholas Sparks's books, though another thing to consider is the perspective of the main character. If they're the kind of person who would use simple words, then it makes sense for the narrative to reflect that.
Another good point, MT. I thought about that. The main character is not college educated. Dickens wouldn't have done it that way, but times have changed, I guess.
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