On Writing Well by William Zinsser is a book about writing non-fiction. Even still, there are many, many principles on writing well which apply not only to non-fiction, but to fiction as well. This book was first published in 1976, and was revised and expanded on its 30th anniversary. It has sold over one million copies. That might not seem like much to some these days, but it’s another one of my staples in my book arsenal which has taught me a lot.
You can find it here on Amazon.
“Rewriting is the essence of writing well: it’s where the game is won or lost. That idea is hard to accept. We all have an emotional equity in our first draft; we can’t believe that it wasn’t born perfect. But the odds are close to 100 percent that it wasn’t. Most writers don’t initially say what they want to say, or say it as well as they could. The newly hatched sentence almost always has something wrong with it. It’s not clear. It’s not logical. It’s verbose. It’s clunky. It’s pretentious. It’s boring. It’s full of clutter. It’s full of cliches. It lacks rhythm. It can be read in several different ways. It doesn’t lead out of the previous sentence. It doesn’t…The point is that clear writing is the result of a lot of tinkering.”
Of course, there is such a thing as too MUCH tinkering. But that’s a subject for another day. The point is, writing your story/book/article is just the beginning. 🙂