Book Freak

By Mark Frauenfelder

Issue #84: Four Pieces of Advice for Improving Your Writing

#84・
9.57K

subscribers

90

issues

Subscribe to our newsletter

By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and understand that Book Freak will receive your email address.

Revue
 
 

Book Freak

May 17 · Issue #84 · View online

Short pieces of advice from books


Four pieces of advice from On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser

Understand that writing is hard
“Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard.”
Eliminate words that don't serve a purpose
“Examine every word you put on paper. You’ll find a surprising number that don’t serve any purpose.”
Don't tell the reader "all." Tell them "some."
“Nobody turns so quickly into a bore as a traveler home from his travels. He enjoyed his trip so much that he wants to tell us all about it—and “all” is what we don’t want to hear. We only want to hear some.”
Surprise the reader
“When I tell aspiring writers that they should think of themselves as part entertainer, they don’t like to hear it—the word smacks of carnivals and jugglers and clowns. But to succeed you must make your piece jump out of a newspaper or a magazine by being more diverting than everyone else’s piece. You must find some way to elevate your act of writing into an entertainment. Usually this means giving the reader an enjoyable surprise. Any number of devices will do the job: humor, anecdote, paradox, an unexpected quotation, a powerful fact, an outlandish detail, a circuitous approach, an elegant arrangement of words. These seeming amusements in fact become your ‘style.'”
UNCLASSIFIED ADS
Buy a Book Freak Unclassified ad for $50 and reach 9,740 readers!
***
What books make people feel hopeful? Check out dozens of recommendations, curated by a worldwide community of curious minds.
***
Get the most out of what you read. Readwise makes it easy to revisit and learn from your ebook & article highlights.
***
Setapp is a hand-picked collection of quality software, packed with prime apps. There’s no store — just a folder on the Mac, and no hidden costs — just a flat monthly fee. It’s simple and users love it.
***
Book Freak is published by Cool Tools Lab, a small company of three people. We run the Cool Tools website, a video review YouTube channel, and other newsletters, including Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop TalesWhat’s in my bag? and Recomendo. You can support our work by becoming a patron via Patreon
Thanks for reading Book Freak! If you like it, please share it with a friend.
Did you enjoy this issue?
In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Book Freak is copyrighted by Cool Tools Lab, LLC. Commissions may be earned from the links above.