Writing Mantra: Keep It Simple Stupid

4 Jun

003Welcome back my friends. It is Tuesday, June 4th, and I’m glad you could join me.

Today we are going to talk about the K.I.S.S. style of writing, or Keep It Simple Stupid.

It is possible to fall too deeply in love with words.  Sometimes….heck, most of the time, the best route between beginning and end is the simplest route.

Why use a five-syllable word when a two-syllable word will do?  Chances are, your readers won’t understand what the five-syllable word means anyway, so how about writing to their level?  Using two adjectives when one perfectly chosen adjective will work nicely is a waste of time and effort.

The same can be said of adverbs.  Avoid them like the plague.  If you have done your job as a writer, most adverbs are not necessary.  I think it was Hemingway who said that adverbs are the tools of weak writers. I happen to concur with that assessment.


“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”~Elmore Leonard

I think Mr. Leonard pretty much summed up the message today, don’t you? J


Be natural!  Writing is its best when it sounds like conversation between two people.  Find your most natural voice and then use it to full advantage.

Again we are talking about simplicity in writing.  I have had conversations with college intellectuals that left me feeling like I had just kissed a dead fish.  On the other hand, I have had conversations that felt like a passionate smooch with Heidi Klum.  No comparison if you get my drift.


Are you interested in protecting your work with a copyright?  Find out how to do so at Copyright.com, found here.



I love picture prompts and I hope you do as well.  Here is today’s prompt…..what emotions do you feel when you look at this picture?  Any memories come to mind?  Let them loose and write about them.


May Sarton Poetry Contest.  Entry fee of $25 and deadline of June 30th….first prize $1000 and book publishing.  Find it here.


Hey, this is only Tuesday. We have three more days of fun together, so get comfortable. I’ll go out for some snacks and be back tomorrow to serve them to you.  As always, you get this free of charge and I’m happy to deliver.

See you on Wednesday!



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

20 Responses to “Writing Mantra: Keep It Simple Stupid”

  1. Kelly Umphenour June 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    You’re so right…now I’m thinking of all the adverbs I use:) lol

    Loved the idea of not writing the arts people skip! Lol

    • Bill Holland June 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      Kelly, I am guilty of adverb usage, and it’s a hard habit to break….but I want to be better so I have to do it. 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by my friend.

  2. Janine Huldie June 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Yay to three more days of fun and will tell you that I know I will start to read something and do many times skim and skip over. It does happen, but I do try for the most part to keep it simple when I write, but I know I, too, am guilty of this one!!

    • Bill Holland June 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Janine, we all are….that’s why the first five seconds is so important….if you haven’t hooked a reader by then you are in trouble. 🙂

      • Russ Moran June 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

        I agree Bill. I cheerily and happily abjure adumbration.

      • Billybuc June 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

        LOL…great one, Russ!

  3. i'mkarn June 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Sooo interesting, Bill! I am trying to keep out the parts people skip too! lol..As far as copyrighting goes – i just had a LOOOOONG conversation with Rolly about just that…still have more to learn and will register a copyright if and when i ever publish anything..lol..
    this contest sounds veddy veddy inneresting also!
    love yaxx

    • i'mkarn June 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      i’d love to share you but i’m having trouble…dunno whyxx

      • Bill Holland June 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

        Leslie, you can email me if you ever have questions…I’d be more than willing and happy to help you.

    • Bill Holland June 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Leslie, there is a lot to learn, so take it slow and get comfortable with it all….the only one watching the time clock is you. 🙂

  4. ruchira June 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Yup, I confess!
    I tend to become wordy, and ought to refrain from it.

    Happy Tuesday, Bill

    • Bill Holland June 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Ruchira, knowing what we do wrong is half the battle. 🙂 Happy Tuesday to you my friend and thank you!

  5. Deborah Neyens June 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    One of the things I like about writing for newspapers is the strict word count. I spend about as much time cutting out words as I do writing them. But it helps my writing be cleaner and better.

    • Bill Holland June 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Deb, for sure, newspapers will force you to clean house on an article…great example of what this blog is talking about.

  6. Clear-eyed Sky June 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    Don’t use a large word when a diminutive one will suffice.

  7. pictimilitude June 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    I read this when I was in meetings at school (no, I wasn’t being bad…we’re allowed to check messages…can you imagine that?!? We’re actually allowed to have cell phones out for all day meetings because we’re treated like adults..but I’ve gone on a tangent) – anyways, your post made me smile because the KISS principle is so relevant on so many things. I hope you’ve had a wonderful day!

    • Bill Holland June 5, 2013 at 12:11 am #

      Cyndi, it is indeed. I was told a long time ago that I could make a typhoon out of a glass of water. Gladly those days are gone and life is simple for me today. 🙂

  8. Melanie Chisnalll June 5, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    Awesome advice Bill! Must agree – for the first few months while I wrote, even up until recently on my blog I wrote as if I was taking at someone, and not with someone. BIG difference. Finally feel like I’m getting it right. Have a brilliant day and enjoy the sunshine!

    • Bill Holland June 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

      Mel, if it helps at all, from my perspective you are getting it right….keep doing what you are doing and better days will be in your future. Thank you my friend.

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