Relative clauses, which begin with who, that, which, when, where interrupt the flow of the sentence and can cause confusion.
Break long sentences which contain relative clauses into two shorter sentences. The reader will make the connection and will be much less confused because one thought is completed before another is begun.
Vivid style brings out the unusual elements in everyday stories.
At the biweekly city council meeting, union leaders make a presentation. One councilmember tells the leaders in a matter-of-fact style, "I think it's a shame the way you've been treated. I want you to know that I support your efforts to improve your standard to living, and I support your right to strike. I hope it doesn't come to this, but shut down the city if you must. It's the mayor who's the only city worker who ought to be losing her job."
A standard reader on the story, lasting 18 seconds, might run like this:
CITY WORKERS IN MIDDLEVILLE HAVE TAKEN THEIR CONTRACT DISPUTE TO CITY COUNCIL. UNION LEADERS GOT A SYMPATHETIC HEARING AT LAST NIGHT'S COUNCIL MEETING IN THEIR ATTEMPTS FOR A PAY RAISE AND JOB GUARANTEES. MAYOR JANE SMITH HAS SAID THERE'S NO MONEY IN THE BUDGET FOR A PAY INCREASE, AND CONTRACT TALKS SO FAR HAVE MADE LITTLE PROGRESS.
"SHUT DOWN THE CITY" -- THAT'S WHAT ONE MIDDLEVILLE CITY COUNCILMAN IS ADVISING CITY WORKERS IN THEIR SIMMERING CONTRACT DISPUTE WITH MAYOR JANE SMITH. DON JONES TOLD UNION LEADERS AT LAST NIGHT'S CITY COUNCIL MEETING THAT HE SUPPORTS THEIR RIGHT TO STRIKE FOR BETTER PAY AND JOB SECURITY, ADDING THAT IF ANY CITY WORKER'S TO LOSE A JOB, IT OUGHT TO BE THE MAYOR.
There are also differences in word choice. The standard reader contains the bland adjective "sympathetic," in contrast to the vigorous "simmering" of the vivid reader. Notice also that "better pay" has a stronger sound than "pay increase."
Content isn't the only difference between these two readers. The vivid reader is more conversational in sentence structure, beginning with a quotation that is back-referenced and ending with a conditional ("if...then") clause. The standard reader is prosaic, with simple sentence followed by simple sentence.