Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Economical Writing

Turn off the flashback-machine that's showing your boring Economics class; that's the wrong Economical. This article is about writing that avoids waste, and that applies to all subjects. Here are the bullet points; dive in for more details:
  1. Always ask "so what?"
  2. Always ask "how do you know?"
  3. "Fluency can be achieved through grit."
  4. Guard your inspiration and "clean up in a dull moment."
  5. Don't skimp on supplies.
Although the author's main audience is actually economists, it's straightforward to apply these to other disciplines.
  1. For non-fiction, you can right the best treatise in the world, but if there's no point to it, why would people read it? Why should they? For fiction, why does this story need to be told? What makes it compelling to those in your audience?
  2. For non-fiction, don't just state something; make sure you know why it's true and be sure that's communicated to the reader. For fiction, the same holds for characters: why do they do what they do? Does it make sense for them to act and react as you've written?
There are 26 more rules outlined in the actual book, including:
  • Avoid Words That Bad Writers Love
  • The Order Around Switch Until It Good Sounds
  • Speak to an Audience of Human Beings
These chapter headings alone have propelled this book onto my Wish List.

1 comment:

Jen said...

This sounds like a really great book! I was just catching up on my blog reading rather than writing, so it really hit home!

Thanks for sharing, Mike!