Respect your reader. The niftiest turn of phrase, the most elegant flight of rhetorical fancy, isn’t worth beans next to a clear thought clearly expressed.
. . . novelists . . . have, on average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdales’s department store. our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anyone can do it. All it takes is time.
—Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday, 128
No iron can stab the heart with such force
as a period put just at the right place.
But do not start to think
so damned simply.
Know how complicated it is
and then state it simply.