Wednesday, June 10, 2020

THE CRAFT OF WRITING: On Writing Well by William Zinsser

My favorite book on the craft of writing is On Writing Well by William Zinsser. More than forty years after it was first published, I still think it is the best guide to nonfiction writing I’ve read.  Clear, well-organized, thorough, entertaining, and practical–it embodies the principles it teaches.  As I write and edit my own manuscripts, advice from this book is always at the back of my mind.
Among my favorite quotes is one from the section on punctuation:
  • “There’s not much to be said about the period except that most writers don’t reach it soon enough.”
After a brief introductory chapter, the first real chapter in the book begins with this sentence:
  • “Clutter is the disease of American writing.”  
De-cluttering is the route to clarity and it is my goal as I edit my own manuscripts,

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