William Zinsser •
On Writing Well •
According to William Zinsser, good writing possesses four attributes: clarity, simplicity, brevity, and humanity. The formula has yet to be improved on.
On Writing Well explores each of these principles in depth, applied to a variety of nonfiction subjects—sports, travel, science, business. In one particularly helpful chapter, Zinsser walks you through the entire process of writing a magazine article: choosing the spin to put on an experience; selecting and rejecting various words; skipping over boring details (a lesson more writers could benefit from). The reader is taken step by step from the inception of an idea to the vast satisfaction of seeing raw material assume coherent form.
To make his points, Zinsser quotes frequently from the prose of master stylists E.B. White, Joan Didion, Edmund Wilson, and many more. And because he heeds his own advice, every section is succinct, straightforward, informative, and lively with humor.
An indispensable guide to the nuts and bolts of putting ideas on paper for anyone who has to produce written communications.