Un Avis de lecture

On Writing Well

By William Zinsser
January, 2018

I’ve always been skeptical of “guidance” books about writing (especially after I’ve read “on writing” by Stephen king). But the simplicity of style and the clarity of words used in “on writing well” made me change my mind.

The author, Applying his own advice through all the pages, points out the importance to learn one’s craft, demystifying the fact that words flow effortlessly on a writer’s hand. Writing is more than just putting words on paper. Writing is hard work. It needs tools, mental ones, good language, virtue, clear thinking, and a lot of rewriting. The choice of words, verbs, nouns and expressions, their length, precision, rhythm and personality are all to be considered.

The book covers enough topics so that anyone could find his/her happiness (even if you’re not into non-fiction writing). We read chapter by chapter without being loaded by heavy examples. Just enough indications to make the reading enjoyable and the ideas easily remembered.

This is a solid book that reminds you of basic rules of Linguistics. And also a good reminder of the importance of studying the craft (even a gifted one, has done the necessary work). The decency of a writer starts with his respect and responsibility towards himself, his craft and his readers. It also means, writing as well as possible with a continuous effort, and an evolving process is a way of taking proud in one’s craft.


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