22 de julio de 2013

"On Writing Well" (by William Zinsser) in 30 tweets

  1. Trust your curiosity to connect with the curiosity of your readers.
  2. Readers can process only one idea at a time, and they do it in linear sequence.
  3. Never be afraid to break a long sentence into two short ones, or even three.
  4. Among the good writers it is the short sentence that predominates.
  5. If you want to write long sentences, be a genius.
  6. Most adjectives are unnecessary (...) The concept is already in the noun.
  7. Clichés are the enemy of taste.
  8. Narrative is the oldest and most compelling method of holding someone's attention.
  9. Any story is like a tiny fuse that detonates tacit understanding in the mind of the listener. 
  10. Abstract speeches don't work.
  11. Humour is the best tool -and sometimes the only tool- the writer has for making an important point.
  12. Humour is the secret weapon of the nonfiction writer.
  13. One strong editorial cartoon is worth a hundred solemn editorials (...) The joke is no joke.
  14. Never hesitate to imitate another writer. Imitation is part of the creative process for anyone learning an art or craft.
  15. Good advice from James Michener: “Good writing consists of trying to use ordinary words to achieve extraordinary results.”   
  16. Writing is related to character. If your values are sound, your writing will be sound.
  17. Writing for yourself is a powerful search mechanism: there's no better way to find out who you are and what you know and what you think.
  18. Writing is thinking on paper. Anyone who thinks clearly can write clearly.
  19. Clear thinking becomes clear writing: one can't exist without the other.
  20. "I" is the most interesting element in any story.
  21. If you work for an institution, whatever your job, whatever your level, be yourself when you write.
  22. Managers forget that some of the most powerful tools they posses –for good and for bad– are words.
  23. You must find some way to elevate your act of writing into an entertainment.
  24. If you want to make science accessible, write like a person and not like a scientist.
  25. Don't be afraid to ask a dumb question. If the expert thinks you're dumb, that's his problem.
  26. A writer is someone who asks us to travel with him. 
  27. Learning is a tonic.
  28. The craft of nonfiction writing involves more than writing. It also means being reliable.
  29. Unity is the anchor of good writing: choice of pronoun, choice of tense, choice of mood.
  30. The confirmation of a good speech, according to Helen Hayes (and others): "Always leave the audience wanting more".

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