When we talk about good fiction writing, we often draw attention to the impressive and the fanciful. The bold and unusual metaphor. The complex sentence. The elaborate construction.
This can be great writing. But great writing can also be simple. To reach your reader, a simple, direct, accessible moment can be more powerful than any innovation or complication.
Like academic writers, fiction writers sometimes get lured in by the assumptions of the genre we’re writing in. True, style is important in fiction. But substance matters too. The substance of character, emotion, and story. Clearly communicating that is fundamental to story-telling.
To write with impact, start with simplicity and build up from there.