How Does Reading Level Matter in Fiction?

This is why I wonder about Grammar. If your reading level is lower, would you really notice. I have been told several times that the national average age for reading in the USA is 12 years. As an author I may over use certain words, though why complicate them if you don’t have to. This is probably why I enjoyed reading “ON Writing.” by Stephen King. To me it made sense..

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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