In his interview with The Paris Review, James Baldwin in answer to the question "As your experience about writing accrues, what would you say increases with knowledge?", says:
You learn how little you know. It becomes much more difficult because the hardest thing in the world is simplicity. And the most fearful thing, too. It becomes more difficult because you have to strip yourself of all your disguises, some of which you didn’t know you had. You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone. That is the goal.
The idiom struck me as odd because I'd never come across any such idiom before. This prompted a quick search on the Internet but to no avail.
So what was Baldwin's idea behind the metaphor? I'm guessing he was hinting at some sort of "Occam's razor" applied to writing, as it were— that is, writing should be kept as simple as possible and stripped of any fripperies, like a bone stripped of all flesh. I'm not sure though, and hence the question. But even if that be the case, isn't it a rather poor metaphor considering "stripping a bone clean of its meat" essentially doesn't leave much to savour?