Miscommunication can wreck writing just as in relationships

We have grown to know how miscommunication can screw up relationships. When people do not give or get clear messages, there can be trouble in paradise. Spouses need to communicate above almost all other things. It is vital to the relationship that each spouse knows what the other is saying and really means. Sounds like excellent advice for a writer as well.

Do you ever search hard for the right words and still fall short of what you meant to say? It is so easy to write the way we think which can be unclear to anyone who doesn’t know us well. Our bad habits can take over such as one of mine where I think the first half of the sentence and only relay the second half. This is a horrible problem for a writer and when we first married caused lots of confusion for my husband. After almost 50 years, he now knows what I’m thinking as well as what I said. Not always sure if that is a good thing.

Many people assume certain words and phrases are known to everyone. Not necessarily so! Your field of work jargon may only be known to a select few and might need to cleared up unless one goal of your writing is to really let people know what that field and its workers are all about.

We also tend to be products of our environment and area of their country or world and use many colloquialisms. The whole world may have the same thought but, express it quite differently and if you are not adding a flavor to the piece to give it color and character, your expression may go completely misunderstood and possibly kill a major point of your story. Be sure to find a way to clarify if you must use such an expression not known by the majority.

When we speak, we must often enunciate properly to make our words understandable, but that tool cannot be so easily used when writing. Sometimes we must use more words to describe an easily spoken word because otherwise it could be lost on your reader. Find ways to reinforce your thoughts with more than one expression so that it makes sense to those reading.

If a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, then those picture words used to create a mental image must be exact to be a good visual clue. The obscure language cannot ever be substituted for the right word or phrase to say exactly what you mean.

To keep your marriage happy, communicate well and make sure each other is clear on what you are trying to convey. Do the same when you write as it can be the difference between a distracted reader feeling the writer is obtuse or the reader ‘getting it.’


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