Terminal Verbosity

Verbosity can be defined as the long-winded manner in which a writer will sometimes (or quite regularly) string together a number of complicated and seemingly necessary thoughts and ideas to say something rather simple that could have been said without the clutter of unnecessary wordiness in a sentence that might often confuse the reader.


I apologize for that first sentence; my intention was not to give you a headache but a chance discussion with @pinktaxiblogger earlier today prompted me to think about some of my work.

Whenever I sit down to write I find that I can’t keep thoughts clutter free. No matter the content, I like to dress my reflections in complicated imagery so that readers ‘feel’ what I might have felt in a moment or to simply give my ideas some texture.  Often times though, I think it gets too much….too heavy but I don’t know how to make my thoughts staccato.

While bloggers don’t really need to consider word limits, I’m forced to consider how my students manage to work within the stringent guidelines we give them when they’re attempting a piece of writing. Ditto to writers and authors who have to strike a balance between reaching a healthy word count and still keep their editors and publishers from falling asleep on their laptops! Editing is a core skill for anybody interested in writing and I surely need to sharpen mine.

Verbose authors bring to mind the stories of Austen, Dickens, Tolkein, and even George Martin (A Game of Thrones) and while I do love their works, there were times when I zoned out of the narratives only to be sucked right back in when it got more interesting. They’re still geniuses though. Just Saying.

Anyway, I know several of you who read these posts are writers yourselves and I’d like your help in deciding where I stand on this. I don’t want to be stuck with a case of terminal verbosity. So, how do you deal with garrulity? Do you prefer staccato sentences or the wordy ramblings that give you vivid details every single time?

Where do you stand?


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