Writing for Better or Worse | Frankology 15

All writers – novice, professional or hobbyist – want to deliver to their audience. We want the reader to engage with the message and hopefully leave enriched in some way. It’s been said that a writer’s sole purpose is to keep their reader reading.

Naturally, much of the content and style would depend on the medium and the audience, but is there some sort of middle ground? Do writers simply succumb to the declining level of reading skill and the demand for a seventh grade reading level? Yes, there are several scoring systems, which in essence, encourage the writing of a kind easily consumed by a seventh grader. A seventh grader!

Writers, especially those who cater for the online reader, are prompted to use shorter sentences and even single line paragraphs. “Long sentences and paragraphs confuse the reader.”

We have reached a point where you can now supply a few keywords, and “AI” will write your website copy in a matter of seconds. Of course, this is not AI at all but a “copy-paste” template. The creators must, however, be commended from a commercial perspective if nothing else. The alarming part is the reader of today can’t tell the difference!

So, the question is this, what do writers do? Do they continue writing for a downward slide in reader intelligence, thereby achieving two things: one, they keep their reader reading and two, they contribute to the slide. Or do they buck the trend and produce writing of quality and colour, in the belief that like all things ridiculous, the trend cannot last? If it does what comes next, ABC cards?

Frank