Do you have, the elements of style?

No, not personal grooming style, style in the way you write? Can you write and avoid using superfluous words, cliche and purple prose? For a long time I was a writer, though I didn't consider myself a romance writer, because I cannot stand ridiculous, romantic purple prose, flowery language that isn't the way people speak. Then i realised, I do love a good romance story, it was only the way they are written, by some people, I didn't like. So I dug deeper into romance literature, often finding the best romance stories weren't sold in the romance genre, but in the literary fiction section filled with beautiful stylish writing. This is what i mean by 'style.' No one can teach it better, in a few words, that

Do you have a copy of The Elements of Style - William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White?

If not, and you are a writer, I highly recommend you own a copy and carry it around with you and read it until it's imprinted in your brain, with minor variations to suit your country of origin. You just won't go wrong with taking most of the advice in this small book.

The author of "Stuart Little" and "Charlotte's Web" was asked to write the Introduction of the book penned by his college writing instructor, Dr. William Strunk, Jr. This Introduciton, which was in the 1979 edition of "Elements", White mentioned this when he used the slim volume for his English 8 course, called "The Elements of Style." He subsequently passed the class—the book helped, of course—and was known on his college campus as "the little book," emphasis on little. The title was privately published by the author.

Years later, White was asked by Macmillion Publishing to rewrite the book for the college market. The year was 1957, Strunk had since passed on, and though White forgot the book, he never forgot the professor. Reading through it again to add notes of his own, White says, "seemed to me to contain rich deposits of gold. It was Will Strunk's ... attempt to to cut the vast tangle of English rhetoric down to size and write its rules and principles on the head of a pin."

Learning to write is an ongoing process and I've since moved on to larger manuals to study and university level writer's courses. Still, this small book remains in my essential writer's toolkit library.  

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