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Thursday, December 31, 2015

How To Write Better

Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity and humanity William Zinsser quotes

This is intended for the writers here.

Any fool can start a love affair. To bring it to a successful culmination needs wisdom ... and of course luck.

What brings this about are some recent posts I read here. As a reader I winced aplenty. Excessive verbiage does not indicate talent, be it prose or verse.

JFK once observed if a speech does not makes it point in ten minutes it is not worth making.

Here are some more quotes:

It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. ~Robert Southey

Good things, when short, are twice as good. ~Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what other men say in whole books - what other men do not say in whole books. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief.
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~Thomas Jefferson

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. ~William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, 1918

In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigor it will give your style. ~Sydney Smith
Brevity is the soul of lingerie. ~Dorothy Parker

If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea. ~David Belasco

Here are some guidelines specially suited for an e-zine:

* write from the heart, but rein in with the mind
* educate, entertain, inform.
* research, revise, re write
* be ready to accept the positive or not-so-positive feedback
* show wisdom tinged with humility: show respect for the reader and interact with them
* follow the 1/3rd rule. after you have edited the final draft, reduce/delete the contents by up to 2/3rd.

To repeat, treat your final draft as a piece of rock ready to be sculpted.

Here are more links:

And there is one final resource on writing that I would recommend: BBC Blast.

If you have more queries, feel free to ask us. Good luck!


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