49 minutes | Aug 6, 2021

Helen Sword, "The Writer's Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose" (U Chicago Press, 2016)

Helen Sword, writing champion, brings us into the word gym. Or maybe kitchen. Either way, The Writer's Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose (U Chicago Press, 2016) is a short, sharp introduction to great writing based around 5 principles:--use active verbs whenever possible;--favour concrete language over vague abstractions;--avoid long strings of prepositional phrases;--employ adjectives and adverbs only when they contribute something new to the meaning of a sentence; --reduce your dependence on four pernicious “waste words”: it, this, that, and there.There are examples of the good - William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King Jr., John McPhee, A. S. Byatt, Richard Dawkins, Alison Gopnik, and well, the bad. But you can fix the bad - really Dr Sword's point. Dr Helen Sword received her doctorate in comparative literature from Princeton University and has lived since 2001 in New Zealand, where she is a Professor of Humanities at the University of Auckland and runs a private writing consultancy, WriteSpace Limited.Bede Haines is a solicitor, specialising in litigation and a partner at Holding Redlich, an Australian commercial law firm. He lives in Sydney, Australia. Known to read books, ride bikes and eat cereal (often). bede.haines@holdingredlich.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/australian-and-new-zealand-studies
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