Another book read and consumed. My creative whirlpool grows larger and more terrifying each day. On Writing Well, written by William Zinsser, was well worth the price of admission. While this a book focuses specifically on non-fiction, you fiction writers can find some great tips in it as well.
The book is broken into four component parts: Principles, Methods, Forms, and Attitudes.
Principles and Methods are the two areas, broken into 10 chapters, that every writer (fiction or non) will be able to pull some great fundamentals from. I found his chapters on simplicity, clutter, and unity to be especially insightful. Pulling from his own personal experiences (vast) and education he offers some pretty solid nuggets of wisdom.
The next two areas, Forms and Attitudes, focuses more on non-fiction writers. Given my early years as a journalist I found them to be true, well-written, and something I would use in my day-to-day work if I was still in the game.
On a side note, the Attitudes section does offer some ideas and concepts that cross streams into fiction (unlike Ghostbusters, it’s okay to cross streams in this instance). These include information on: voice, the enjoyment of the craft, getting to the final product, and writing as well as you can.
Overall, I can confidently say I am happy to own this book. Its pages are now littered with post-it notes for me to refer to if the need arises. I would recommend it to anyone who needs to add more greens (non-fiction works to bolster your craft) to your diet.
That’t it for today. Until tomorrow, keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay sharp!