Zinsser’s opinion and I will not let them

Zinsser’s On Writing WellThe book I read, On Writing Well, was a very informative book that had tips on how to write and I learned a lot from it. I agreed with a lot of this book. But there were several hypocritical parts of this book that I disliked and there was some information I disagreed with such as his point of view that writing should be as simple as possible.There are numerous points Zinsser made on writing that I thought were very helpful and I will put to use in my writing. One such point as Zinsser puts it is, “Every paragraph should amplify the one that preceded it” (56). He states that each paragraph should influence the others and keep a steady smooth rhythm to keep the reader attentive. Another valid opinion in this book is the fact that the reader will, “care if you tell them something interesting” (21). I agree with the idea that if one writes on things that they are passionate about, there is no need to worry about whether the reader will care about it; the reader will find it interesting if the writer does. Adding onto this point, Zinsser states that as a writer, “You are writing for yourself” (25). I believe this fact to also be accurate because the readers could be of such a wide variety that if one tries to write for just a specific group then he will fail. Zinsser has many strong opinions in On Writing Well that I agree with.At some places in this book there are some ideas that I disagree with and believe that they are just Zinsser’s opinion and I will not let them influence my writing. The first is when he says, “But the secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components… every long word that could be a short word.” (7). I think that there are places in writing that require large descriptive words to fascinate and let the reader create a visual of something. If a writer is writing a fantasy novel about a mythical world, he doesn’t want to reduce his words that invoke senses to his readers to small words that aren’t exciting. Similarly, Zinsser talks about style and says it is “organic to the person doing the writing” (19). Zinsser also believes writers shouldn’t try to create style in their writing by trying to use descriptive adjectives and similes but I disagree. I think that a writer can choose how to write and if their style is to add in a lot of big words and literary devices like metaphors than it shouldn’t be discouraged. At some points in this book I disagree with points that are made and don’t think they need to be applied to everyone’s writing.   I think certain aspects of Zinsser’s style of writing in On Writing Well are used well for various reasons. One of these is how he writes directly at the reader and is very down to earth. He points out how, “Few people realize how badly they write” (18). The writing in the book tells how every writer makes so many mistakes and Zinsser is completely open with making the reader feel bad about their writing. It is a very honestly written book. Another part of On Writing Well I liked was how Zinsser put all his opinions down from the start without leaving anything out. He is very straightforward. This style of writing, the brutal honesty, is a refreshing difference from some books that only tell the reader what they want to hear.Many parts of On Writing Well are written poorly and I dislike them because of their apparent lack of planning and tendency to lose my interest. In only the second chapter Zinsser makes a contradicting mistake. The second chapter is titled, “Simplicity” (7) and Zinsser starts it with, “Clutter is the disease of American writing” (7). Then he titles his next chapter, “Clutter” (13) and goes through the exact same argument as in the previous chapter. Zinsser is hypocritical and tells the reader again and again that clutter is bad while cluttering up the book with all of that. Another thing I disliked about Zinsser’s writing is how in chapter 7, “Usage” (38) he goes over word after word telling the reader useless information about these words all while cluttering up the chapter with useless knowledge that I am not interested in and I don’t see how it applies to writing. I think Zinsser’s book is not super well written and he lacked the planning he so adamantly calls for.While full of interesting and good information about writing, in general I thought On Writing Well contradicted itself too much to take seriously and that there were a lot of mistakes. Zinsser might have had productive advice on writing but he should have followed his advice. I did like certain parts though so it wasn’t a complete waste of time, and I did learn some stuff like to write for myself not an anonymous reader but the book couldn’t hold my attention and it wasn’t that great in general.