Resources for Writers
Improving Readability by Paul Anthony Shortt
It’s one of the most important parts of writing, yet it’s so basic that many might overlook it in their efforts to become better writers. Readability affects every aspect of your work. If an agent or submissions editor has to struggle to get through your covering letter or your manuscript, you can kiss any change of publication goodbye. And this isn’t something you can circumvent through self-publishing or blogging your own articles, either – it will be reflected in your reviews and comments (assuming they get to the end) Readers have more options for recreation and learning now than any other time in history. If your work is a chore to read, there’s plenty else out there to attract their attention.
And quite aside from that, making sure your work is easy to read and engage with shows professionalism and respect, both for your subject matter and for your audience. So in the interests of helping to make your writing as clear and concise as possible, I’ve found some excellent resources:
1: Readability Test – This online tool lets you enter text, even up to an entire novel, and within moments will give you your scores on a range of readability standards. It will also tell you what age range will find your work easy to read. This is a very useful starting point.
2: 6 easy ways to improve readability in 5 minutes or less – This list from Men With Pens gets us started on the work of actually improving our readability. It gives a good foundation in a number of areas and includes a link to another readability test; the Hemingway App.
3: 8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content – It’s easy to forget that our own blogs and other online content also need to be easily read. Copyblogger offers some tips on making sure everything you post can attract a maximum number of engaged readers.
4: How to Write Addictively Readable Paragraphs – Finally, it’s not enough that our writing be simply readable. It has to grab hold of a reader and not let go until they finish the last sentence. So, stop by Write To Done and check out their guide to making your words utterly addictive.
That’s all for this week. Good luck, folks!
(c) Paul Anthony Shortt