Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Quite Simple

A person tweeted a comment concerning the writings in my book the other day, saying that it was "quite simple" and that they were expecting more from me. I thanked her for her honesty and added "expectation is the root of all disappointment".

I'm unsure of which part the commenter was referring to when that person said that my writing was simplistic, so I'll just take it to mean that both sides were equally simplistic. The person did, however, specify that the language was what was simplistic. The content, in that person's opinion, was good. I thanked her for her kind words.

Pieces of writing that uses simple language is something that I find appealing. I remember reading Dr Mahathir's The Malay Dilemma and was struck by how effectively he delivered his message by only using very simple, everyday English. Bombastic jargon was kept to a mere minimum, and I felt that it helped in the overall relatable-ness of the piece of writing. He wouldn't be winning any creative writing awards anytime soon with language like that, but, as I said before, it was effective and relatable.

Another one of my favourite authors, Jeffrey Archer, also uses the same approach. He's far from the most fanciful writers out there. He's pretty straight forward in his use of language, and we can imagine him saying all these words out loud in our head when we read his books (at least I can). I'm pretty sure that his purpose in writing is telling a story, and the more people can understand and follow it, the better.

But of course, big and fancy words do have their place in prose. I have nothing against it or the people that use such language. I respect them highly for being able to use such language in an effective and creative manner. I admire their wide vocabulary and wish I had the same range of words to choose from when I write.

But truth be told, the people who have influenced me the most in my writing, namely Jeffrey Archer and Haruki Murakami more often than not use simple everyday language to convey their stories. The strength of their writing is not in their choice of little known words and complex and dense sentence structures, but rather the plot, characters and effect their pieces have on their readership.

My main aim, particularly in "I'm OK" was to get the reader to feel something after every piece. They are free to interpret the story as they wish, but if I could get them, you to feel moved in some way, then I will regard it as mission accomplished. For every piece I try to bring out a different feeling, or a variation of the same feeling. I guess it was an experiment in seeing how many feels I could touch within a reader in one collection of short stories.

Good content is what I strive for. I'm nowhere near as good as I want to be, but Imm working towards it. And hopefully, I'll be close enough to where I want to be in terms of writing ability, one day.

1 comment:

fi said...

kan orang kata "less is more" . Thanks for the book by the way :)