Writing Well: The Essential Guide
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Writing Well is a guide to expressive creative writing and effective professional prose. The author, a poet, writer, editor and teacher, explains the techniques required for stylish and readable writing. Everyone who wants to improve their writing can benefit from this book, which describes how to: • identify topics that inspire you to write • get into the habit of writing regularly • develop ideas • construct effective arguments • choose words for maximum effect • use grammar correctly • structure sentences and paragraphs appropriately • write with integrity The book is enriched by examples from great modern writers, and includes a variety of exercises and suggestions for writing activities. Mark Tredinnick practises what he preaches, making his book highly enjoyable as well as technically instructive.
manual. But none of them is too arcane. I confess I had always understood that “happens” worked as a good translation for one of the meanings of transpires. sentencing Sound sentences Grammar hasn’t been taught in most schools in Australia, where I live, for over a generation. It’s a good thing it’s not important! It’s nothing more, after all, than the way we describe the way our language works — that complicated system of sounding signs we use every day of our lives. So I guess there’s no
usually the best equation. The machine that burns the least fuel, moves the fewest parts, leaves the smallest mess, will — leaving aside a few sometimes signiﬁcant matters of taste 123 124 writing well and habit and fashion — be the machine you want. The dancer we most admire expends the least energy performing her impossibly effortless leaps; the greatest tennis player you ever saw hits the ball sweet and true and hard as hell, without a wasted gesture. We’re talking about elegance here.
right and those he nails; between those that sing and swing and those that mumble and fail. Sentences fail for many reasons. You may not know enough about what a sentence is, for instance, to reach the end with poise. Or you may, like Lopez, know more than enough, but you give them too much weight to carry; you work them too hard. And they break. I know that Barry Lopez knows how to write (and right) a bad sentence because he rewrites everything — from essays and stories to his longest books —
chart their rises and falls. Do this now. Do it often, and keep note in your journal of what you hear. 2 Specifically, write a two-hundred-word piece sparked by some talking you overhear. It could be a conversation, but it doesn’t have to be. It may just be a phrase. Character Capturing the character of a person is like capturing the character of a place. Be the place, be the person. Be what they are, as far as your imagination will let you. Inhabit them. Write, as it were, from inside their
“all hell broke loose.” In westernmost Wyoming, detached crustal sheets came planing eastward — rode ﬁfty, sixty, and seventy-ﬁve miles over younger rock — and piled up like shingles, one overlapping the another. In the four hundred miles of these overthrust mountains, other mountains began to appear, and in a very different way. They came right up out of the earth . . . These mountains moved, but not much — ﬁve miles here, eight miles there. They moved in highly miscellaneous and ultimately