Making Your Writing Clear For Your Readers

So I’ve been editing the ending of Clemency: This is No Nation of Gods for the past few days now and overall, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve went over and fixed so far. I’ve got good feedback from some members of my writing group and that’s been great. What exactly have I been doing?

Well, I’ve been noticing that I, knowing who’s who and such, will sometimes forget to put in names thinking that people will just get what I mean (which is not always the case). And, while it is a lot of work to go through and add the names (and to me, I feel that it sounds clunky). But I know that it will make the reader’s life easier and it will make for a much better story if I do so. Clarity is important, after all.

I think that, as a writer, it’s easy to forget that your readers don’t know what’s going on in your head. Maybe some will. But it’s not a guarantee, and more often than not, people will be confused if you don’t indicate every now and again as to who is talking and other such details. Personally, I know that when people hand me back my manuscript and tell me “Well, I didn’t really understand this…”, I have this tendency to think “They’re just not reading close enough” but really, it’s actually better when I fix the part that they don’t understand. Because I, as the writer, just know what I meant. Readers don’t get the opportunity to delve into our minds.

Have you ever had an experience like this where someone didn’t understand what you wrote but you thought that it was clear as glass?

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