On Writing Well

The new book on my bookshelf, On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Helps clear up the head a lot in terms of writing.

Main thoughts:
  1. No clutter - just minimal amount of words for what you want to say
  2. Rewriting/editorial is not only normal but essential (example with the real manuscript edits is golden)
  3. You are writing for yourself in the first place
  4. Write for people, with people
In detail:
  • Verbs - active, precise, colorful
  • No redundant adverbs or adjectives
  • Contractions are totally fine (I thought not!)
  • He/she is the real problem: use plurals ('they', 'we') or change wording to address
What struck me: just "friends" vs "work friends" + "close friends" (no distinction sounds a lot better!)
See a lot in common with writing good code - say only what you want to say, no more, no less.


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