Improving My Writing Style

by orthonormal 1 min read11th Oct 201133 comments


I've written quite a lot here since Less Wrong started up, but I've started to suspect that my writing style is holding me back. Most recently, I wrote two sequences that seemed to garner widespread agreement on content/significance/originality but didn't really seem to excite anyone, which is a pretty clear signal that my style has been hobbling my ideas. So, as I'd promised to do (albeit a few weeks later than I'd expected), I'm trying to improve myself as a writer, and I need your help.

I'm declaring Crocker's Rules on the subject, and I'd like help with both diagnosis and treatment. Let me know, as precisely as you can, what's problematic in my writing, or what you think the root causes might be, or what you think might help me to fix my issues. I'll list what I've thought of so far in a comment below (so that you can make your own suggestions without anchoring issues).

Links to my recent major posts:

Consequentialism Need Not Be Nearsighted

Qualia sequence: Part I, Part II, Part III

And now an odd counterexample: I wrote this post quickly for Discussion, without thinking too much or editing at all, and then it got promoted and was received enthusiastically. That may just be the subject matter, or it may signify that the time I spend editing posts makes them worse...