The Prompter Room

For Friday, February 24, 2017:

 

One of the things that really good writing does is that it’s able to get across massive amounts of information and various favorable impressions of the communicator with minimal effort on the part of the reader.

That’s why people use terms like flow or effortless to describe writing that they regard as really superb.  They’re not saying effortless in terms of it didn’t seem like the writer spent any work.  It simply requires no effort to read it – the same way listening to an incredible storyteller talk out loud requires no effort to pay attention.  Whereas when you’re bored, you’re conscious of how much effort is required to pay attention.

David Foster Wallace, QUACK THIS WAY: DAVID FOSTER WALLACE AND BRYAN A. GARNER TALK LANGUAGE AND WRITING

Or, as William Zinsser said: ‘Hard writing makes for easy reading.  Easy writing makes for hard reading.’

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