On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction
Based on a course William Zinsser taught at Yale and his long experience as a writer, editor and teacher, On Writing Well has been praised by journalists, teachers, writers, students, and grateful users since its publication in 1976.
Read by Zinsser with warmth, humor, and encouragement, On Writing Well shows how to apply the author's four principles of writing: Clarity; Si...more
On Writing Well provided tangible, quality writing tips. It did not excite me, though. Zinsser has a somewhat eurocentric perspective and his writing s ...more
The best part of On Writing Well focuses on“trimming the fat in the sentences you write. Zinsser provides a hand-edited page of his own On Writing Well manuscript as an example of how to cut down on useless words, and it is tru ...more
After reading Pragmatism by the American philosopher William James, I’ve realized that some American qualities cut deep. We are a people who love action and despise abstract argument. We like to see efficiency and real-world results. We set ourselves a goal and ...more
Zinsser illustrates many of his points through the use of personal anecdotes and examples culled from writers of different disciplin ...more
Books on writing can be intimidating but this books is charming and makes me want to read more and more. This book is written "well" by a man who knows how to "Write Well."
It is by no means a compliment to tell Zinser that anybody can write and we all can take up writing on the side. No. Writing is a craft rather than an art and we have to work at it. Our writing should be simple and clutter-free. Clear thinking becomes clear writing. Therefore, to write is always to rewrite over and over and o ...more
When did I read it? Well, I would have to think back and I can figure it out but it will take a while and I would rather be reading than go down that particular "memory lane."
Five stars indicates what I thought of this book and glad to know that it's contents are still valid today.
But if you`re a beginner i don`t think it would be helpful for you but you should read this book at some point.
"Telling a writer to relax is like telling a man to relax while
being examined for a hernia, and as for confidence, see how
stiffly he sits, glaring at the screen that awaits his words. See
how often he gets up to look for something to eat or drink. A
writer will do anything to avoid the act of writing. I can testify
from my newspaper days ...more
My desire, as I write my novel, is to write with simple, clear, effective prose. I once told a friend that "I try to write lightly and cleanly, expressing the things I want to say in few and pastel-colored words, but I do try to move the reader as well, and add in little things that make it come alive."
William Zinsser's On Writing Well was a healthy dose of affirmation and ...more
Если бы мне нужно было рассказать о книге в одном предложении, я бы сказала, что это ин ...more
Second only to The Elements of Style, this is the best book ever written for writers. In many ways, it's better than Strunk and White, which tends to focus on grammar and the actual mechanics of writing as opposed to how a writer should think and approach things. The book focuses on nonfiction, but many (if not most) of the principles apply equally to any style of writing. Even chapters on things like how to do an interview offer valuable insights into what you're lookin ...more
Witty, concise, and informative, the first two parts on "Principles" and "Methods" are brilliant. These parts, however, constitute 30% of the book. The rest of the book - that is, 70% - is uneven and can be skipped without missing out on anything important.
The only chapters I found worth reading are those on "Science and Technology," "Business Writing," and "Writing About Arts," all of which are in Part III. Other than these, none of the chapters say anything that hasn' ...more
The book is divided into four parts...
1. The Principles of Writing: If you can m ...more
Zissner doesn't waste time with schmaltzy examples of how to formulate plots and manufacture characters, but instead focuses on clarity, grammar, story structure and how to ho ...more
If someone is going to presume to teach us to write, I think we can all agree that he’d better be pretty darn good at it himself. And in On Writing Well, we’re treated to that kind of a teacher—Zinsser clearly practices, and so we settle down into our pews and let him preach. His writing seems as if it just came gliding out of his pen—effortless and conversational, full of unselfconscious grace and sparkling with wry wit—but lest we stand too much in awe ...more