The last post ended with the KISS acronym – Keep It Simple Stupid.
“Simple is better,” they say.
It reminds me of my friend, Music John, making me listen to the CD he’d produced after graduating from a well known music school and explaining to me all the intricacies of this and that musical feat that he had wrangled into it and him bitterly complaining that it was much more musical than the simple songs that played on the radio, that trash. I did think he had a pretty song, but it wasn’t anything catchy or something I’d listen to again.
Where am I going with this analogy? Writing for the masses (not the critics) is like this -- the untrained brute puts together a coarse, poorly written novel stated in simple terms because that is all he knows. It stinks and its poor quality is apparent to all. The well-schooled but equally ignorant writer employs techniques and forms and grammar and uses every effort to comprise a novel, honing each technique into place. Alas, it’s unwieldy and fails.
The master author takes effort, too, but having honed his writing skills, employs ‘writing techniques’ so that they appear seamless to the reader. These are never noticed and because of that everything appears simple. It’s like the song on the radio – sure it sounds simple and only uses 3 chords but that’s the real beauty of it. All apologies to Music John. K-I-S-S.