Zinsser on Friday

Zinsser on Friday is a sweet reward for waking up on Friday.
What is Zinsser on Friday?
A weekly posting about writing, the arts, and popular culture
by William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well,
based on a favorite quotation or comment.

From today’s offering, Content Management:

Content management. Isn’t that what we used to call “writing”?
I’ve been in the content-management business all my life.
I look for content that interests or amuses me
and then I manage it into a narrative.

It’s what all writers do if they want to keep paying the bills.
Dickens did it very well. So does every good crime writer:
Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler.
Elmore Leonard was once asked how he keeps his novels moving so fast.
He said, “I leave out the parts that people skip.”
That’s content management.


11 thoughts on “Zinsser on Friday

  1. “On Writing Well” is a book my mentor at the Mt. Hermon Writers Conf. recommended. Definitely excellent reading for aspiring writers such as ourselves!!! p.s. You ARE writing up a storm, aren’t you?! I am impressed.

  2. @LimboLady – I have several books by Zinsser.  And I keep meaning to mention to you that a book that is all the buzz at work, Heaven is for Real, is co-written by Lynn.  It’s ranked #3 in book at Amazon right now.  I hope that is good financial news for her.

  3. Love this and didn’t know about his weekly posts — thank you for sharing! :)P.S. I love your profile photo here — the eagerness in your expression so aptly fits your eagerness for life!

  4. Oh, Carol, I’m so glad you liked A Green Journey.  I have two more Hassler books to read, but I was afraid I’d lose some of my readers after three Agatha books in a row so I’ve read some other books in betweeen.  Maybe I’ll get to them this weekend.  Happy Sigh!Didn’t you love Agatha? And didn’t you love James? And weren’t you mad at him temporarily until it was revealed why he had deceived her?  

  5. @hopeinbrazil – Yes, yes, yes!!  It reminded me of the parts I liked about Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (the budding friendship/possible romance between an older man and woman) without the “stuff” I didn’t like.  (MPLS pairs an Anglican man with a Islamic woman. Parts of it are very charming; but other parts not so much.)  I particularly liked the relationship between Agatha and the Bishop.  It was so parallel to friendships in my life with people with whom I agree on the fundamentals and vastly disagree doctrinally in other areas.  And the one you see as a “nemesis” usually becomes a dear friend.  Also, Hope, I do have Honey for a Woman’s Heart, although I blush to say I’ve never taken it off my shelf.  I looked at it to see what Mrs. Hunt might have said about A Green Journey and saw only a small reference to it in one of those boxes.  Isn’t it funny which trails take us to a great book? I have to say that I wish more authors would figure out that understated sexuality is indeed sexier.  The one hug and his “cupping” her hand in his got my heartbeat up! And I was relieved that Janet’s train ride didn’t take her where it could have.  Oh, we could easily spend an entire day drinking tea and talking books, couldn’t we?

  6. I have added Zinsser’s book to my library request list as well as few titles he mentions in his article.  My Christian world of reading was raised to be small and insignificant and I am now trying to help it mature.  You and Hope are a help in this endeavor.  Thank you.

  7. @Heather – Heather, I just loved your comment.  While I was sorting through emails (comments get emailed to me) I wondered if I had told you how encouraging your response was. Indeed, I did not! Thank you for taking the time to write.  ~ Carol

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