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"Readability" Factors? : Writers' Block Party • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

"Readability" Factors?

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
abqwriter
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RE: "Readability" Factors?

Postby abqwriter » Fri Feb 17, 2006 7:34 pm

Thanks for the info.  I found this website, which has some pretty interesting info on the readability tests, how they're calculated and what the scores mean:

http://www.answers.com/topic/flesch-kin ... ility-test


Jamesaritchie
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RE: "Readability" Factors?

Postby Jamesaritchie » Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:37 pm


brewbob
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RE: "Readability" Factors?

Postby brewbob » Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:57 am

:)

More insight into this little gem! With the exception of the literati and cogniscenti who demand multi-syllabic works, it seems that most writing would succeed in the better readability levels per Flesch et al.

Indeed, William Zinssers' "On Writing Well" said: "Clutter is the disease of American writing," and "The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, ..."

At first I was horrified to see my short story rated at the 6th grade level, until I discovered the process that Flesch-Kincaid uses in the computation. Now it makes sense. If the readability is lacking, it most likely won't get past the editor's review. I think this is true for novels intended for the general public where the story counts, not the hyperbole.

Cheers!

Bob

Jamesaritchie
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RE: "Readability" Factors?

Postby Jamesaritchie » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:16 am


JessicaLeigh
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RE: "Readability" Factors?

Postby JessicaLeigh » Sat Feb 18, 2006 11:11 am

If you are interested in readability factors for most books, you can find the information listed under Text Stats on amazon.com. Text Stats are only available on the books with the "Look Inside..." feature, but nowadays, almost all books on Amazon have this feature.

I use Text Stats to compare my own writing to that of similar famous authors. It's how I figured out my 105,000 word novel wasn't as wordy as I thought it seemed...it's just about right for such a piece.

abqwriter
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RE: "Readability" Factors?

Postby abqwriter » Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:44 pm

I actually used my readability factors in my pitch.  Since part of the issue is making sure that the novel would have mass appeal, the agent raised her eyebrows and nodded in agreement when I said that it was a benefit that the book was written for a 4th grade readability.  Her comment was that it was a perfect level.

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