B.S. is one of the abbreviations I pencil in the margin of prose I’m reviewing –my own or a client’s. It stands for Be Specific, though it evokes a different two-word expletive that means much the same thing.
The best way to be specific is to know what you want to say – and sometimes that takes several meandering drafts. Once you’ve figured out what you want to accomplish in a scene or a post, a chapter, a story or a report, you can guide your reader to understand you clearly with specific language – with words.
Words can be general, like the word food – the fuel that sustains life. A general word fails to give your reader much guidance, leaving her to imagine grapes when you imagined roast beef.
Words that are more specific are limited in scope, like the word snack – which is…
View original post 397 more words