On Writing Well

On Writing Well - William Zinsser

 

Clutter is the ponderous euphemism that turns a slum into a depressed socioeconomic area, garbage collectors into waste-disposal personnel and the town dump into the volume reduction area.
— William Zinsser

Rating:

5/5 - Life Value

4/5 - Entertainment Value

 

Who's this book for: 

  • Writers, particularly non-fiction writers. 

 

Who's this book not for:

  •  Anyone looking for a book for purely entertainment value.

 

On Writing Well is a guide to writing better as a non-fiction writer in any field. This book is a perfect example of applying the craft of writing to solve the problem to book set out to solve in a to-the-point yet entertaining style. Zinsser is a master of the craft and provides countless tips along with examples of good writing and bad writing - along with how to fix it. This is the type of book writers should regularly revisit and keep on hand when tackling their biggest challenges to make sure they've satisfied the criteria of writing well. 

 

Some of the essential points include: 

- Be yourself. Don't flourish your words necessarily or use breeziness, condescension, or cliches. 

- Cut out small words that make your writing a little bit less convincing.

- Leave your readers with just one provocative thought that they didn't have before reading your piece. 

- Writing that will endure tends to consist of words that are short and strong. 

- Clear writing is the result of a lot of tinkering and no writing decision is too small to be worth a large expenditure of time.