“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo da Vinci

“Three rules of work:
out of clutter find simplicity;
from discord find harmony;
in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Albert Einstein


I believe that, just as the above is true in nature and work, so also is it in faith, life and writing. Simplicity is hard to define. It’s more than the lack of complexity, more than the lack of confusion. For some, it’s a way of thinking; for others it’s a way of living.

In writing, it’s the lack of artifice. But what else is it? How do you define simplicity in writing?

~  ~  ~


3 thoughts on “Simplicity

  1. Cutting out extraneous words. Making 3 sentences one, avoiding repetition. Hard to do, though. :>)

  2. torimcrae says:

    I agree with Diana. Simplicity in writing is an economy of words: using just enough words to paint a picture, set a scene, move the plot forward, build suspense. You get the idea. Yes–eliminate unnecessary words and avoid repetition (most of the time). I don’t know about combining sentences though. It certainly didn’t work for Charles Dickens. The entire first page of A Tale of Two Cities is comprises a single sentence. My definitive example of writing simply is a comparison–Charles Dickens vs. Ernest Hemingway. I probably fall somewhere in between.

  3. Carol says:

    “Out of clutter find simplicity,” That one really hits home when I stand in the doorway of my office and observe the mess that keeps me out! I can’t write when surrounded by clutter. A clutter of words may well obscure the message, too, which is contrary to a writer’s goal.

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