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Guidelines to good writing such as using active voice

 
 
librax
 
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 03:25 pm
It's knowledge that active voice is preferred over passive voice even though both forms are grammatically correct. Similar to this, what other common principles or guidelines should one follow to be a more polished writer of English?
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 982 • Replies: 11

 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 04:09 pm
@librax,
Google Strunk & White, Stephen King on Writing, and Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing.
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 04:30 pm
@jespah,
Did you mean Ray Bradbury's book, "Zen and the Art of Writing"?

Sorry...not meaning to be nitpicky.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 05:00 pm
@Ragman,
Nope, I meant Zen in the Art of Writing by Bradbury -
https://books.google.com/books/content?id=SslWj26w7x0C&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&imgtk=AFLRE71TUol5loYnPEctqAviBkPt-0Fqzgj_oJDNq0Ojqtvf_gSYmPr2onU_eo_HJdfhFOsW7Gmsegvza2IkN9hPM9uPa1A__CrqpehC1vEelfQb4IiNcngrEZh81Z8BkSsmB0MRZ8VZ
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 05:20 pm
@librax,
read anything by Elmore Leonard or Larry McMurtry
Elmore doesnt use flowery descriptive paragraphs. He does most all of his descriptions with dialogue and action

Larry McMurtry moves from active through the passive so seamlessly we dont know that hes screwing with us.

Stephen King, (evem though I like his stories) isnt a good writer


ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 05:39 pm
@farmerman,
I saved something in my files about Elmore Leonard's writing about how to write ...

found it :
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/16/arts/writers-writing-easy-adverbs-exclamation-points-especially-hooptedoodle.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 06:40 pm
@ossobuco,
Thats good stuff. I like Mark Bowden's writing too. He does "Creative non-fiction" and has the added burden of carrying facts around an having to keep them in order cause thats what really hppened.
His book "DOCTOR DEALER" is a great piece of non-fiction about a dentist in Philly who became a big drug lord (kind of as a side business) . His writing was sharp and loaded with his use of the precise words for a situation.

I have to write a lot of technical stuff which is loads of jargon and math and its only of interest to small pack of rock nockers. Not all of us can write about dinosaurs and ****. Some have to write about crystl lattice dimensions and adsorption desorption potentials. BOring

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 07:04 pm
@farmerman,
Thanks for the name, Mark Bowden. I'll keep my eye out for him. Actually, I'll go look up his books.
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librax
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2015 12:31 pm
Thanks all, I will look in to the books suggested. The NY times article was quite insightful. I also want to know if these rules apply to things like writing articles and blog posts as well as copywriting/sales letters?

Appreciate the feedback.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2015 01:27 pm
@librax,
Bowden's best known books are BLACKHAWK DOWN andGUESTS OF THE AYATOLLAH. I enjoyed DOCTOR DEALR and ROAD WORK andBRINGING HOME THE HEAT also.

librax
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2015 03:12 pm
@farmerman,
Will add these to my "to read" list Smile
0 Replies
 
patrici83
 
  0  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2018 12:55 pm
I'm new to the forum, copywriting is my hobby. If you allow my favorite books are:
The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly
The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman
The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
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