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Friday, March 01, 2013

Why Clarence Thomas Uses Simple Words In His Opinions

This may sound like an odd connection to make on my blog, but I recently read this article at the Atlantic, "Why Clarence Thomas Uses Simple Words in His Opinions," and it struck a cord with me as a writer.
     Many people, when they finally sit down to write THEIR BOOK, fill their prose with flowery speech, dialogue, set-building, interior thoughts... the list goes on.
     And yet, when it comes to picture books, the art is to relay the most meaning with the fewest words. It's why every word counts in a picture book. None can be spared for anything outside the main purpose of the story. (And preferably for the layers of meanings which reach out to young and old readers alike.)
     Like Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) said, "If I'd had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."
     It takes work to fine tune one's exact meaning in a clear, concise, and cohesive way. Truly, I think Clarence Thomas said it beautifully. It's a lesson for picture book writers (and lawyers). Go have a read!

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