“Easy reading,” said Nathaniel Hawthorne, “is damned hard writing.”Boy, ain’t that the truth. It’s too bad when an author gets in the way of a good story. You know what I mean. I get it with some of the submissions I receive. The story gets bogged down because the author tries too hard. The wording gets dense, or the message gets garbled because the author adds too many elements. Instead of telling a story, the author tries to show off his writing abilities. Unfortunately, this usually backfires. The next time you find a piece that’s easy to read, look closely at the parts you like best to see if you can figure out why. I bet you'll find simple, clear writing.