The Stray Sheep – Reflection: I write the way I talk

As mentioned yesterday, I originally planned on writing a post on this topic but didn’t actually get to post it… because… it’s gone. Spooky.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about my extensive use of certain words and my “writing style”, I guess.

So, if you’ve read my posts until now, you may have noticed that I don’t use fancy words or that I don’t exactly write too many elaborate sentences. That’s mainly due to the fact that I essentially just write down what pops up in my head… and “it just works”.

Nobody complained about it yet… Nobody cares, one could argue.

In my opinion, though, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Writing the way I talk in English isn’t the best.

I sort of envy native speakers because they are often able to write much more sophisticated sentences and paragraphs, heck, better articles in general than me. I wouldn’t say that mine are hard to read or “too easy” or anything like that… but I’d love to work on it more and just improve in general.

To do that, I’ll need to read *even more* English literature, especially English posts, articles and reviews. I reckon that my vocabulary will improve over time if I just read a lot and write a lot. Good thing I’ve been writing blog posts for 669 days in a row – or something like that.

Anyway, the other thing I have to do is actually pay attention to what sort of words I use too many of and what sort of sentences can be abbreviated or elongated to not just add value… but maybe even some degree of “poise” to my posts…?

What I mean by this is that I want to analyse what I do badly… as well as what I think other people, like Roger over here at CMP, are doing great. What exactly makes me feel as if they’re more sophisticated in their writing than me? What can I use in my posts? What should I not use in my posts?

By analysing where exactly I see a problem and by finding out what exactly triggers my thoughts of “my posts suck”, I probably will come to some sort of solution to getting better at writing.

Again, this isn’t something anybody prompted… It’s me noticing that I write the way I talk… and I want to get better at my vocabulary, style and sentence structure. I reckon it will help me in my university studies as well.

Something that I should add here is that I overtime picked up a few words that I found to be rather useful.

“Thus”, for instance, is basically “hence” but one letter shorter. It conveys the same meaning as “therefore”. “In a way that has been exemplified right here” or something along those lines… but I use it too often. Thus, I use “hence” or “therefore” a lot. I sometimes use “alas” until (I believe?) Naithin told me that “Alas” has more of a sad connotation to it which made it odd to appear in my posts the way I used it.

Mea culpa on that one. “Alas” is used rather often when you want to say that you had these expectations (for example) but alas they weren’t met. There are probably other great uses for it but this is the easiest way to explain it, I reckon.

“I had high hopes for Tin Can. Alas, my experience was rather disappointing.” – me, being Mr Smartypants incarnate.

While it’s nice to use “henceforth”, “therefore”, “alas”, “thus”, and “hence” a lot… I’ll need to check my notes from high school again on other conjunctions – I reckon the internet has plenty more to offer. In my day-to-day, I don’t really use conjunctions too often while speaking English, after all, so I’ll have to figure that out, I reckon.

Oh well,… if you’ve noticed any sort of bad habits I’ve got in my writing, feel free to comment them over here. Would love to hear your opinions on things I could or maybe even should improve.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

2 thoughts on “The Stray Sheep – Reflection: I write the way I talk

Add yours

  1. Your example usage of ‘Alas’ was right on. :)

    I would caution against going too far the other way though! It isn’t too difficult to inadvertently enter purple prose territory. (Defined as: “purple prose is overly ornate prose text that may disrupt a narrative flow by drawing undesirable attention to its own extravagant style of writing, thereby diminishing the appreciation of the prose overall.”)

    Diversifying your vocab is always a worthwhile persuit, don’t get me wrong. But already I would say it isn’t common to see, ‘hence’, ‘thus’, etc in common, casual usage — so overusage can come across a little strange too.

    Overall though, for me at least, I think both these statements are true:
    — Your writing is fine! Your points are typically presented clearly enough to be well understood and with a distinct voice of your own.
    — Pursuit of improvement is never a bad thing; just make sure to balance the pursuit of the vocab with an understanding of its usage outside of just the raw meaning. :)

    Liked by 1 person

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