Henneke Duistermaat reports:
"Imagine no traffic rules existed. No traffic lights, and no roundabouts. How would you get around your [hometown]? Would traffic move faster or slower? Traffic rules help us drive (or cycle or walk) both safer and faster. We can anticipate what others will do. We know when it’s our turn to cross safely. We avoid chaos on the road. Writing rules are similar. They exist to avoid confusion, so readers can grasp your ideas without stumbling around. Without having to guess what you tried to say. For instance, rules exist about spelling you’re vs[.] your and their vs[.] there. These are strict rules because a misspelling wrong-foots your readers. Rules exist for concise writing, too. These rules are less strict, but important because unwieldy writing slows your readers down. That’s why we need to be careful with adverbs, eliminate the future tense, and avoid weak words. But a small selection of rules is cosmetic. These rules are dreamed up by high school teachers who like telling us we’ve made mistakes...[S]horter sentences are easier to read. They add energy to your writing. And by starting with a word like And you stress a specific point in your writing.
Apple[']s copywriters, for instance, love starting a sentence with But or And...Listen to the rhythm of your writing. Which version sounds better? Your writing requires a mix of long and snappy sentences...Broken sentences don’t befuddle our readers. Instead, we add clarity. By stressing words. (Like that.) That’s why you should feel confident to use fragments instead of full sentences. Free yourself from the rule of broken sentences...Broken sentences add stress to specific phrases. They change the tone of your writing, making it snappier. And more energetic...When each paragraph has the same number of sentences, your writing looks boring. Good writing is well[-]designed. A one-sentence paragraph stands out, attracting your reader’s attention. It also breaks up a pattern of monotone blocks of text...Your job as a writer is to communicate your ideas. To allow readers to visualize your story and feel your words. So your number one rule is to write for your readers. When your readers get irritated by grammar mistakes, you’re wrong. When your readers stumble over your sentences, you’ve made a mistake. When readers don’t get your ideas, your communication isn’t clear enough. Writing is not about sticking to grammar rules. Writing is about communicating ideas with clarity. Let your ideas shine. And inspire your readers."
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