I feel sorry for fiction writers and author-wannabes who pass by On Writing Well because it’s subtitled “The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction.”
Don’t let that fool you. This book is a gem.
It’s not laid out like most books I’ve read on (fiction) writing (the TOC’s chapters include The Transaction, Simplicity, Clutter, Style (okay, I recognize that one), Unity, The Interview, Writing About a Place (Oh, you mean “Setting,” right?), and other obscurities) and readers should expect that; Zinsser’s writing about how to make your writing better, more exact, more succinct, more communicative of what you want to communicate.
He’s writing a book for people who need to have their writing understood by a specific audience.
But…umm…isn’t that what fiction writers want, too?
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