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On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction par [Zinsser, William]
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On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction Format Kindle

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sole, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.

Biographie de l'auteur

William Zinsser is a writer, editor and teacher. He began his career on the New York Herald Tribune and has since written regularly for leading magazines. During the 1970s he was master of Branford College at Yale. His 17 books, ranging from baseball to music to American travel, include the influential Writing to Learn and Writing About Your Life. He teaches at the New School in New York.


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1323 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 340 pages
  • Editeur : Harper Perennial; Édition : 30 Anv Rep (11 septembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0090RVGW0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°49.667 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Format: Broché
"On Writing Well" s'intéresse à l'écriture de tous ces genres qu'on regroupe en français sous le terme d'essais et documents pour les distinguer des oeuvres de fiction. Les anglosaxons ont forgé le terme de nonfiction, sans-doute plus précis.

Zinsser traite les principales catégories de nonfiction: l'article de presse, le récit de voyage, la description de lieu, le sport, l'art, la science et la technique et bien sur l'écriture au travail.

L'auteur fait partie de ce courant pour lequel la simplicité et la sobriété sont les seules marques du talent. En cela il rejoint W. Strunk, l'auteur de "The Elements of Style", cet autre classique de l'art de bien écrire. Zinsser nous encourage donc à ré-écrire plusieurs fois afin de supprimer les lourdeurs, les redondances et le jargon.

Ce livre s'est imposé comme un incontournable depuis sa publication initiale dans les années 70. Ses rééditions régulières depuis cette date témoignent de son succès. La lecture de l'ouvrage confirme la pertinence de cette reconnaissance: l'écriture de Zinsser est limpide et précise, formulant son propos avec clarté.
Remarque sur ce commentaire 8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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It is a very good book...it would have been excellent if a bit shorter
when you have read the first third you have got the message!
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5 588 commentaires
493 internautes sur 504 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 In response to the criticism that Zinsser "generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous" 23 avril 2012
Par A fellow with a keyboard - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The most damaging (but fair) criticism I've heard of this book came from reviewer D. Fineman who said, "He generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous. ... He feels free to judge -- for instance scientists -- outside his field."

I agree that Zinsser does these things, but I disagree that it is a problem. In fact, if I have one criticism of the book it is exactly the opposite: that the lessons are even more generalizable and broadly applicable than Zinsser gives them credit for. For instance, if you skip the travel writing chapter, or if you read it thinking that it only applies to travel writing, then you will miss two golden and persuasive arguments that ought to apply to *any* writer:

1) The things that come to the writer easiest -- cliché, excessive detail, syrupy and vague language -- are the things that keep the reader bored/detached/passive.

2) Your main task as a writer is to distill the essence of whatever you're writing about--to find its central idea, to describe its distinctive qualities using precise images. In other words, your main task is to work excruciatingly hard.

The goal of any writer (yes, any) ought to be to transform the reader from a passive observer into an ally. It's excruciatingly hard to do, but once you realize that that's the goal, and once you realize that the parts that come easiest are what's getting in the way of that goal, then you can start writing well.

Zinsser knows these things, and he articulates them beautifully. It is one of the most persuasive books I have read, on any subject. But I hate that the lessons are hidden within topic-specific chapters. Please read with that in mind.
118 internautes sur 122 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very good - but know what you're getting 16 mai 2012
Par D. Motta - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
First, note the title: On Writing Well. That is how one titles an essay. It is NOT a technical book that will lay out how to write. It's a collection of well written essays about different factors that will help you write better. The negative reviews are a bit ridiculous in their complaints because they expected something other than what the book is (ironically a lot of them are poorly written as well). If you're a professional writer, this probably won't do much for you. If you like writing and want to clean up your craft a little with this collection of tips, then it'll be great for you. And I'm assuming most of us here don't get paid to write so 5 stars it is.
59 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I became a better writer because of this book. 3 janvier 2015
Par Jeff Wignall - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is one of the finest books ever written on the subject of nonfiction writing. I've written about 30 books that have sold more than five million copies and I can tell you that those books would never have been written, or written as well, had I not stumbled upon this book some 20 years ago.

From this book I learned the value of brevity. I learned the value of simplicity. And more than anything else, I learned to trust myself and the concept that, in the end, people don't love a book because they are in love with the subject, they love a book (and stick with it regardless of topic) because they like the author. I also learned, very importantly, that your teachers were all wrong when they told you not to write in the first person: Mr. Zinsser convinced me that writing in the first person is the best--often the only--way to write.

If you don't trust yourself and don't trust your ideas, why on Earth are you writing anything?

I also learned from this book that humor and surprise are necessary elements of most nonfiction writing.

Be yourself, talk directly to the reader, be funny, be human, be a tiny bit clever--and you may even surprise yourself with what a good writer you are. Trust yourself, and trust simplicity.
131 internautes sur 148 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A CLASSIC GUIDE TO WRITING WELL 15 mai 2007
Par Mike Klaassen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, is meant to compliment The Elements of Style by Stunk and White. In Zinsser's own words "The Elements of Style is a book of pointers and admonitions: do this, don't do that. What it didn't address was how to apply those principles to the various forms that nonfiction writing and journalism can take."

Although the book is organized in four parts, the content could really be summarized in two categories:

· Writing principals, methods, and attitudes

· Guidelines for specific forms of nonfiction, including travel, humor, business, sports, arts, memoirs, and family history.

Subjects addressed include: rewriting, craft vs. art, humanity and warmth, clutter, simplicity, finding a style, clichés, rhythm, unity, tone, and attitude. All of these are covered with the insight of a successful writer having decades of experience.

The author works some biographical information and experiences into the text, but the focus of the material is on writing well. Given that the first edition was in 1976, some of the examples and attitudes are dated, but they also add to the charm of the book.

No recaps or exercises are included at the end of the chapters, but an index is provided for easy reference.

As the subtitle indicates, the book is specifically directed at nonfiction writing, but many of the concepts also apply to fiction. With over a million copies sold, and in its thirtieth anniversary edition, much of the information has already been worked into other writing guides. As envisioned by Zinsser, On Writing Well compliments The Elements of Style. Together, they make a great combination.
579 internautes sur 728 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 I am sorry to disagree.... 21 septembre 2009
Par D. Fineman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I usually only write reviews for books I can praise. I actively avoid giving criticism about books that have, as this one does, a large and enthusiastic following. I feel compelled to write now because I think that many will not be as well served as they imagine after reading these reviews.

I think this book is popular for many understandable and, in themselves, good reasons. The writer is up-beat and optimistic. He supplies simple formulas for complex problems. He has both wit and charm. He supplies many funny stories. He makes fun of pompous academics and pedagogues. He is empathetic and warm. His instructions are personal, not distant or abstract. He requires little of the reader and avoids pesky formalities. For all these reasons, one should be attracted to a non-fictional book of reminiscence about writing. However, all these virtues are not those of a book teaching writing.

Indeed, many dislike books that try to teach writing because the majority are rigorous, boring, and impersonal. So, it is no wonder that against those demanding and dry texts this humane presentation appears as an oasis. However, it is a mistake to think that those emotional values make this a good writing text.

This book's relation with writing is much like a movie's relation with its topic: a narrative about a thing more than an instruction. For instance, "Field of Dreams" may make us happy, but it hardly is likely to make us better baseball players. Here most of Zinsser's time is expended in context, quotation of others, and folksy tale. These are topped off with a brief commands - "Go to it" - that have a cheerleader's enthusiasm and lack of content. He celebrates one style, his own, which is short and informal to the exclusion of the hundreds of others that have graced our language. He gives little help with formal discourse. He feels free to judge -- for instance scientists -- outside his field and beside the point. He makes numerous grammatical errors and seems to recognize the dash as the only punctuation. He generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous and yet undefined, for instance "the human element."
In short, he is less an instructor and more a coach.

As I said, his many strengths have understandably broad appeal, but this book would be inadequate for the college classes I teach. You may not need such formal help and that is fine as long as you do not think it appears here.
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