Reference #9: On Writing Well


The secret to good writing is simplicity. Remove every word that serves no purpose. Prefer descriptive verbs over adverbs. Aim for clear, simple writing.

This simplicity also extends to what Zinsser calls "clutter". For example, write "now" over "at this point in time". Remove the superfluous "up" in "free up".

A technique to simplify your drafts is bracketing. Add brackets (like such: "let's free [up] some time") to the clutter in your drafts, then remove then.

Zinsser. On Writing Well, 2006. (6, 12-16)

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