The other day at the library book sale, I spotted a title that seemed to belong among my useful books about writing, Jefferson D. Batesï¿½s Writing With Precision.
I only just looked it over yesterday, and saw with delight that Batesï¿½s first principle of more effective writing is, ï¿½Prefer the active voice.ï¿½ (Seabury students will moan inwardly as they read that advice.) He goes from that to advocate using strong, vivid verbs rather than inert ï¿½nominalizedï¿½ forms, hewing to specific rather than vague expressions, and keeping related sentence elements near one another. I couldnï¿½t have said it better myself.
I still plump for Joseph Williamsï¿½s Style as my premier book on writing, but every reinforcement is welcome in the battle against empty, flaccid prose. Bates adds a section on outlining (absent from my second-hand copy, darn it, since I need someone to help me cultivate my outlining discipline) and exercises-and-answers that illustrate his principles of writing. Well done, more than worth the fifty cents I spent for it, and refreshing encouragement for my approach to writing.
…excerpt from: akma.disseminary.org…