Five Points of Lewisism

Five points from C. S. Lewis on writing essays. Much here for the preacher to think about too. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else. Always prefer the clean direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.” In writing, don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the things you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us the thing is “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please, will you do my job for me.” Don’t use words too big for the

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