June 27, 2013

Good prose by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd

Good prose by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd
The art of nonfiction - stories and advice from a lifetime of writing and editing.

Our doctrine is that the author and the reader should move along together in full confidence with each other.

I hoped he liked me as well as I liked him. But I also knew that to retain my first impression of him I must not see him again; and needless to say I never did see him again. One was always making contacts of that kind in Spain.

Thoreau wrote: “We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking”

A good writer, like a good lover, must create a pact of trust with the object of his/her seduction that remains qualified, paradoxically, by a good measure of uncertainty, mystery and surprise”

Every story has to be discovered twice, first in world and then in the author’s study.

When we read fictional and factual narratives, we conjure up characters through their deeds: We want to imagine that we know why characters do what they do and feel as they do. We want to understand characters in a story better than we understand ourselves.

I can write better than anybody who can write faster and I can write faster than anyone who can write better. - A.J. Lieblings.

The trouble with this business is that it’s run by a English major.

Books Referenced:

Writing with power by Peter Elbow
The elements of style by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White
Style by Joseph M. Williams and Gregory G. Colomb
On Writing well by William Zinsser
The Chicago manual of style by University of Chicago Press staff
Modern American usage by Wilson Follett

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