Thursday, June 17, 2004

On Writing Well (Book Review)

On Writing Well is one of those books that, after you read a few
chapters, make you slap your head and wonder, "Why am I such an ignoramus that I didn't even hear of this book?" (Okay, I know it was just me!)

As far as books on writing go, I'd place this book in the same category as On Writing and Writing Down The Bones. High praise I know, but this book is the best book I've read about writing non-fiction.

Zinsser talks about all kinds of non-fiction; from business writing, to sports and science. And, he does it in a style that's easy to read and looks deceptively simple to write, but one that most writers know is the hardest thing to do.

Zinsser uses examples (from different writers) to emphasize what he's talking about and to make the points he's making easy to understand. His experience, as a teacher of writing, is evident throughout the book and after reading his book, you'll wonder about taking his course or feel like writing to him and telling him what an impact the book had on your life. And, if you're like most writers, you'll procrastinate and won't.

Whatever you do or don't, what I'd recommend is that you pick up the book, browse through it, and (hopefully) buy it. If you want to improve the way you write, you'll find this book worth whatever you pay for it.


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