If You Only Read One Book On Writing, Make it This One

4 rules from a Yale writing professor

Linda Caroll
Aug 28, 2020 · 5 min read
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The 4 principles of good writing…

1. Clarity

“If it’s not clear you might as well not write it. You might as well stay in bed.” — William Zinsser

2. Simplicity

“Simple is good. Writing is not something you have to embroider with fancy stitches to make yourself look smart.” — William Zinsser

3. Brevity

“Short is always better than long. Short sentences are better than long sentences. Short words are better than long words.” — William Zinsser

4. Humanity.

“Be yourself. Never try in your writing to be someone you’re not. Your product, finally, is you. Don’t lose that person by putting on airs, trying to sound superior.” — William Zinsser

Many writers tell you what to do. Zinsser also tells you why. And that makes all the difference.

“Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard.”
William K. Zinsser, On Writing Well

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else…

Linda Caroll

Written by

Top writer. Featured in NYT, Forbes. https://lindac.substack.com/

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else in between together.

Linda Caroll

Written by

Top writer. Featured in NYT, Forbes. https://lindac.substack.com/

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else in between together.

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