How Does Reading Level Matter in Fiction?

This is cool.

Kristen Twardowski

How well do most published authors write? Would you be surprised to hear that Jane Austen wrote at just above a 5th grade level, Stephen King writes at about a 6th grade level, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote at slightly more than a 6th grade level, and Leo Tolstoy wrote at about an 8th grade level?

To find out all of this information, Shane Snow did a readability analysis of the works of different bestselling authors. He based his exploration off of their scores for the Flesch-Kincaid tests, which were developed in 1975 on behalf of the US Navy to assess the difficulty of technical manuals. These tests take into account total words, sentences, and syllables in order to assess a written work’s grade level.

Snow’s analysis found that higher level writing did not necessarily result in successful sales. In fact, the bestselling fiction books that he looked at all fell…

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The Ultimate Test

Caught in the Storm

“For one human being to love another is perhaps the most difficult task of all, the epitome, the ultimate test. It is that striving for which all other striving is merely preparation.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Interesting quote. When you boil everything down to its genuine purpose, it all seems to come back to love. Mankind prepares itself to understand what love is and how to exhibit that love. I think perhaps imperfection is not being without mistakes, but perhaps, being without love.

 
What if the Ultimate test, the promised land of sacrifice and endurance, is the preparation of ourselves to meet love in its purest form, where in comparison to such esteem that even the sun is but artificial light? Would not our struggles be worth it? The beauty of pure love, it is too much to fathom, “that striving for which all other striving is merely preparation.”