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How do you write so well?

Eitan_Zohar
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2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Noumena
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2/24/2013 7:31:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Cocaine's a hell of a drug.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
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Eitan_Zohar
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2/24/2013 7:35:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:34:10 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I assume they read a lot of books. They're also really smart.

I read a lot of books (was reading college level books in fifth grade). "Smart" is an empty term.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/24/2013 7:37:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:35:43 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:34:10 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I assume they read a lot of books. They're also really smart.

I read a lot of books (was reading college level books in fifth grade). "Smart" is an empty term.

How many books do you read in a year? A lot of the smart people I met or that are on DDO read about a book a week.
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OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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2/24/2013 7:40:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:37:12 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:35:43 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:34:10 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I assume they read a lot of books. They're also really smart.

I read a lot of books (was reading college level books in fifth grade). "Smart" is an empty term.

How many books do you read in a year? A lot of the smart people I met or that are on DDO read about a book a week.

I've been reading a few books a week since I was 8. Being well read doesn't mean you can write. In my opinion, it's a talent. And not everybody has that potential.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Oryus
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2/24/2013 7:46:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

Agreed. Verbosity won't get you far. I think being concise and substantive is more valued in academia which I assume is where you want to be heading fairly soon.
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
: :
: : The Fool: It's my English writing. Either way It's okay have a larger vocabulary then you, and a better grasp of language, and you're a woman.
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darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/24/2013 7:47:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:40:05 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:37:12 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:35:43 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:34:10 PM, darkkermit wrote:
I assume they read a lot of books. They're also really smart.

I read a lot of books (was reading college level books in fifth grade). "Smart" is an empty term.

How many books do you read in a year? A lot of the smart people I met or that are on DDO read about a book a week.

I've been reading a few books a week since I was 8. Being well read doesn't mean you can write. In my opinion, it's a talent. And not everybody has that potential.

That's true as well. I use smart as one of the two criteria though. So reading a lot of books doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a good writer, but not reading any books means you won't be a good writer.
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darkkermit
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2/24/2013 7:51:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There's also a really subjective aspect of what constitutes good writing, especially If you consider who your audience would be. I don't think cody_franklin's writing would make it into the newspaper, even though I'd prefer his writings over the newspaper or news articles.

I really hate the writing style of newspapers, even though the masses seem to enjoy it. There's too much story telling and not enough factually, substantiated information. They create these ridiculous narratives that have very little basis on reality.
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thett3
Posts: 14,349
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2/24/2013 7:53:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:51:39 PM, darkkermit wrote:
There's also a really subjective aspect of what constitutes good writing, especially If you consider who your audience would be. I don't think cody_franklin's writing would make it into the newspaper, even though I'd prefer his writings over the newspaper or news articles.

I really hate the writing style of newspapers, even though the masses seem to enjoy it. There's too much story telling and not enough factually, substantiated information. They create these ridiculous narratives that have very little basis on reality.

^ this. It always bothers me when news stories dont cite sources. I get that sometimes they cant (like "this building just blew up and we're the first on the scene") but they definitely should more often
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muzebreak
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2/24/2013 7:56:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:51:39 PM, darkkermit wrote:
There's also a really subjective aspect of what constitutes good writing, especially If you consider who your audience would be. I don't think cody_franklin's writing would make it into the newspaper, even though I'd prefer his writings over the newspaper or news articles.

I really hate the writing style of newspapers, even though the masses seem to enjoy it. There's too much story telling and not enough factually, substantiated information. They create these ridiculous narratives that have very little basis on reality.

I could be wrong, but I think man-is-good's writing is objectively good. Though I think this is more an exception then a rule. I get what you're saying.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
YYW
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2/24/2013 8:01:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:46:05 PM, Oryus wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

Agreed. Verbosity won't get you far. I think being concise and substantive is more valued in academia which I assume is where you want to be heading fairly soon.

This.

I know that I can be on the verbose side, and in all fairness I don't hardly ever edit anything I write on here. But the best and only way to improve one's writing is to write consistently, and to read a lot. Reading good prose helps too. I think this is probably the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com...

Ward Farnsworth is a professor of law at Boston College, and the man is absolutely brilliant. He and some of his students put this together, and its perhaps the best place for anyone who wants to improve their writing to begin.

Three things I would suggest though, beyond CER:

(1) Practice writing thesis-driven essays. Short, precise works with premises narrowly tailored to prove conclusions.
(2) Read good prose, classical literature and newspapers.
(3) Be direct, and don't talk around yourself. Write all and only what you need to prove your point.

And the basics too... active rather than passive voice, subject-verb agreement, etc. These are imperative.
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darkkermit
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2/24/2013 8:02:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:56:51 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:51:39 PM, darkkermit wrote:
There's also a really subjective aspect of what constitutes good writing, especially If you consider who your audience would be. I don't think cody_franklin's writing would make it into the newspaper, even though I'd prefer his writings over the newspaper or news articles.

I really hate the writing style of newspapers, even though the masses seem to enjoy it. There's too much story telling and not enough factually, substantiated information. They create these ridiculous narratives that have very little basis on reality.

I could be wrong, but I think man-is-good's writing is objectively good. Though I think this is more an exception then a rule. I get what you're saying.

Stating that you like his writing does not mean his writing is objectively good. That's why I said its important who your audience is, since different people prefer different writing styles. Whether a writing style is good or not is subjective.
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YYW
Posts: 36,303
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2/24/2013 8:07:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:01:22 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:46:05 PM, Oryus wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

Agreed. Verbosity won't get you far. I think being concise and substantive is more valued in academia which I assume is where you want to be heading fairly soon.

This.

I know that I can be on the verbose side, and in all fairness I don't hardly ever edit anything I write on here. But the best and only way to improve one's writing is to write consistently, and to read a lot. Reading good prose helps too. I think this is probably the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com...

Ward Farnsworth is a professor of law at Boston College, and the man is absolutely brilliant. He and some of his students put this together, and its perhaps the best place for anyone who wants to improve their writing to begin.

Three things I would suggest though, beyond CER:

(1) Practice writing thesis-driven essays. Short, precise works with premises narrowly tailored to prove conclusions.
(2) Read good prose, classical literature and newspapers.
(3) Be direct, and don't talk around yourself. Write all and only what you need to prove your point.

And the basics too... active rather than passive voice, subject-verb agreement, etc. These are imperative.

And btw... I have no idea how many books I have read (probably no less than 400-500). I just read what interests me... that could mean Dickens or Sherlock Holmes novels, Nietzsche's ramblings or Richard Posner's latest treatise on legal pragmatism. I did notice that my writing style changed after I read a all of Foucault's major works for a class I was in (which I have tried to restrain), but the prose you read affects the way you write. In general, also, philosophers (or philosophical writings) are terrible models to follow. You want to write things that make sense, that are accessible, that people can follow. The object of good writing cannot be to confuse your reader.
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wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/24/2013 8:13:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:07:25 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:01:22 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:46:05 PM, Oryus wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

Agreed. Verbosity won't get you far. I think being concise and substantive is more valued in academia which I assume is where you want to be heading fairly soon.

This.

I know that I can be on the verbose side, and in all fairness I don't hardly ever edit anything I write on here. But the best and only way to improve one's writing is to write consistently, and to read a lot. Reading good prose helps too. I think this is probably the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com...

Ward Farnsworth is a professor of law at Boston College, and the man is absolutely brilliant. He and some of his students put this together, and its perhaps the best place for anyone who wants to improve their writing to begin.

Three things I would suggest though, beyond CER:

(1) Practice writing thesis-driven essays. Short, precise works with premises narrowly tailored to prove conclusions.
(2) Read good prose, classical literature and newspapers.
(3) Be direct, and don't talk around yourself. Write all and only what you need to prove your point.

And the basics too... active rather than passive voice, subject-verb agreement, etc. These are imperative.

And btw... I have no idea how many books I have read (probably no less than 400-500). I just read what interests me... that could mean Dickens or Sherlock Holmes novels, Nietzsche's ramblings or Richard Posner's latest treatise on legal pragmatism. I did notice that my writing style changed after I read a all of Foucault's major works for a class I was in (which I have tried to restrain), but the prose you read affects the way you write. In general, also, philosophers (or philosophical writings) are terrible models to follow. You want to write things that make sense, that are accessible, that people can follow. The object of good writing cannot be to confuse your reader.

Werd. My name is wrichcirw, and I approve this message. :)
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Noumena
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2/24/2013 8:15:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:47:11 PM, darkkermit wrote:

That's true as well. I use smart as one of the two criteria though. So reading a lot of books doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a good writer, but not reading any books means you won't be a good writer.

I read what could be considered a lot and still I'm not a good writer so I understand this. Every essay I write for college just feels like I'm winging it even if I've read extra material or know the subject inside and out. It seems like it's half way between a learned skill and instinctual talent.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
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2/24/2013 8:35:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:15:28 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:47:11 PM, darkkermit wrote:

That's true as well. I use smart as one of the two criteria though. So reading a lot of books doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a good writer, but not reading any books means you won't be a good writer.

I read what could be considered a lot and still I'm not a good writer so I understand this. Every essay I write for college just feels like I'm winging it even if I've read extra material or know the subject inside and out. It seems like it's half way between a learned skill and instinctual talent.

No freshman in college (I think you're a freshman, right?) is a good writer, largely because most freshmen come to college with all the experience they built in their high school english classes (lol), their AP history classes (could be good, depends on the teacher), and that's about it. High school teachers are terrible at teaching how to write, and this is why universities in America almost universally require an English 101 and 102 (or equivalent) to break that problem. For what it's worth though, you're a bright kid and that feeling of uncertainty will go away the more you write and the further you progress in college. It just takes time.
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Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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2/24/2013 8:36:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

I won't, but I think it's fun. I really think that Cody has the most talent at delivering material, though. He gets his point across with just the right phrasing and thinks of wording I could never have while making it look entirely effortless. He's also a master of obfuscation and can write like charlie; just look at their conversation here: [http://www.debate.org...]
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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2/24/2013 8:43:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:01:22 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:46:05 PM, Oryus wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

Agreed. Verbosity won't get you far. I think being concise and substantive is more valued in academia which I assume is where you want to be heading fairly soon.

This.

I know that I can be on the verbose side, and in all fairness I don't hardly ever edit anything I write on here. But the best and only way to improve one's writing is to write consistently, and to read a lot. Reading good prose helps too. I think this is probably the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com...

Ward Farnsworth is a professor of law at Boston College, and the man is absolutely brilliant. He and some of his students put this together, and its perhaps the best place for anyone who wants to improve their writing to begin.

Three things I would suggest though, beyond CER:

(1) Practice writing thesis-driven essays. Short, precise works with premises narrowly tailored to prove conclusions.

You mean... like on this website? ;)

(2) Read good prose, classical literature and newspapers.
(3) Be direct, and don't talk around yourself. Write all and only what you need to prove your point.

And the basics too... active rather than passive voice, subject-verb agreement, etc. These are imperative.

I read a lot of Stephen King, and I can do extremely well on a story if I really obsess over it (my best work took about an hour per paragraph, unfortunately it got deleted later). I like to imagine I sound like him, although an outside reader I suspect would see that that isn't as true as I fancy.

Although I really lost patience with my story-writing debate with Lannan. Couldn't get into it whatsoever, and at the end I just typed up the thing as fast as I could.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
Posts: 36,303
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2/24/2013 8:50:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:43:32 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:01:22 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:46:05 PM, Oryus wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

Agreed. Verbosity won't get you far. I think being concise and substantive is more valued in academia which I assume is where you want to be heading fairly soon.

This.

I know that I can be on the verbose side, and in all fairness I don't hardly ever edit anything I write on here. But the best and only way to improve one's writing is to write consistently, and to read a lot. Reading good prose helps too. I think this is probably the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com...

Ward Farnsworth is a professor of law at Boston College, and the man is absolutely brilliant. He and some of his students put this together, and its perhaps the best place for anyone who wants to improve their writing to begin.

Three things I would suggest though, beyond CER:

(1) Practice writing thesis-driven essays. Short, precise works with premises narrowly tailored to prove conclusions.

You mean... like on this website? ;)

Or you could start a blog... perhaps generate some ad revenue.

(2) Read good prose, classical literature and newspapers.
(3) Be direct, and don't talk around yourself. Write all and only what you need to prove your point.

And the basics too... active rather than passive voice, subject-verb agreement, etc. These are imperative.

I read a lot of Stephen King, and I can do extremely well on a story if I really obsess over it (my best work took about an hour per paragraph, unfortunately it got deleted later). I like to imagine I sound like him, although an outside reader I suspect would see that that isn't as true as I fancy.

I'm a huge fan of The Green Mile, personally. My favorite Stephen King book ever written.

Although I really lost patience with my story-writing debate with Lannan. Couldn't get into it whatsoever, and at the end I just typed up the thing as fast as I could.

Not bad, and story writing bores me. I actually did write a manuscript that exceeded 400 pages in Word, but I decided it was quite awful. One friend of mine got half way through it, and I could tell it was too much. Fiction, needless to say, isn't my strong suit.
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muzebreak
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2/24/2013 8:52:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:02:48 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:56:51 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:51:39 PM, darkkermit wrote:
There's also a really subjective aspect of what constitutes good writing, especially If you consider who your audience would be. I don't think cody_franklin's writing would make it into the newspaper, even though I'd prefer his writings over the newspaper or news articles.

I really hate the writing style of newspapers, even though the masses seem to enjoy it. There's too much story telling and not enough factually, substantiated information. They create these ridiculous narratives that have very little basis on reality.

I could be wrong, but I think man-is-good's writing is objectively good. Though I think this is more an exception then a rule. I get what you're saying.

Stating that you like his writing does not mean his writing is objectively good.

That was a joke.

That's why I said its important who your audience is, since different people prefer different writing styles. Whether a writing style is good or not is subjective.

I agree.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Eitan_Zohar
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2/24/2013 9:01:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:50:32 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:43:32 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:01:22 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:46:05 PM, Oryus wrote:
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

Agreed. Verbosity won't get you far. I think being concise and substantive is more valued in academia which I assume is where you want to be heading fairly soon.

This.

I know that I can be on the verbose side, and in all fairness I don't hardly ever edit anything I write on here. But the best and only way to improve one's writing is to write consistently, and to read a lot. Reading good prose helps too. I think this is probably the best place to start.

http://www.amazon.com...

Ward Farnsworth is a professor of law at Boston College, and the man is absolutely brilliant. He and some of his students put this together, and its perhaps the best place for anyone who wants to improve their writing to begin.

Three things I would suggest though, beyond CER:

(1) Practice writing thesis-driven essays. Short, precise works with premises narrowly tailored to prove conclusions.

You mean... like on this website? ;)

Or you could start a blog... perhaps generate some ad revenue.

(2) Read good prose, classical literature and newspapers.
(3) Be direct, and don't talk around yourself. Write all and only what you need to prove your point.

And the basics too... active rather than passive voice, subject-verb agreement, etc. These are imperative.

I read a lot of Stephen King, and I can do extremely well on a story if I really obsess over it (my best work took about an hour per paragraph, unfortunately it got deleted later). I like to imagine I sound like him, although an outside reader I suspect would see that that isn't as true as I fancy.

I'm a huge fan of The Green Mile, personally. My favorite Stephen King book ever written.

Never read it, although my favorite is The Gunslinger (absolutely only the unrevised version). Have you read The Running Man, Shawshank Redemption, The Long Walk, Under the Dome, 11/22/63, The Shining, or Cell?

Although I really lost patience with my story-writing debate with Lannan. Couldn't get into it whatsoever, and at the end I just typed up the thing as fast as I could.

Not bad, and story writing bores me. I actually did write a manuscript that exceeded 400 pages in Word, but I decided it was quite awful. One friend of mine got half way through it, and I could tell it was too much. Fiction, needless to say, isn't my strong suit.

Read more fiction. That's the only way.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
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2/24/2013 9:06:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 9:01:59 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:50:32 PM, YYW wrote:
I'm a huge fan of The Green Mile, personally. My favorite Stephen King book ever written.

Never read it, although my favorite is The Gunslinger (absolutely only the unrevised version). Have you read The Running Man, Shawshank Redemption, The Long Walk, Under the Dome, 11/22/63, The Shining, or Cell?

I've never read Running Man, though Shawshank and Long Walk are both very good. Haven't read Under the Dome. The Shining is good, and I've never heard of Cell.

Although I really lost patience with my story-writing debate with Lannan. Couldn't get into it whatsoever, and at the end I just typed up the thing as fast as I could.

Not bad, and story writing bores me. I actually did write a manuscript that exceeded 400 pages in Word, but I decided it was quite awful. One friend of mine got half way through it, and I could tell it was too much. Fiction, needless to say, isn't my strong suit.

Read more fiction. That's the only way.

Indeed.
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Man-is-good
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2/24/2013 9:09:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 8:52:21 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:02:48 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Stating that you like his writing does not mean his writing is objectively good.

That was a joke.
Dammit.
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2/24/2013 9:33:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 9:09:10 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:52:21 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:02:48 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Stating that you like his writing does not mean his writing is objectively good.

That was a joke.
Dammit.

I like your writing<3

sorry for never messaging you back on fb btw I've barely been on recently
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Man-is-good
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2/24/2013 9:50:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 9:33:34 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 2/24/2013 9:09:10 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:52:21 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:02:48 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Stating that you like his writing does not mean his writing is objectively good.

That was a joke.
Dammit.

I like your writing<3

sorry for never messaging you back on fb btw I've barely been on recently

O.o
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
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2/24/2013 9:54:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 9:50:21 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 2/24/2013 9:33:34 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 2/24/2013 9:09:10 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:52:21 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:02:48 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Stating that you like his writing does not mean his writing is objectively good.

That was a joke.
Dammit.

I like your writing<3

sorry for never messaging you back on fb btw I've barely been on recently

O.o

It's fine, it's fine. O.o
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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2/24/2013 10:02:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 9:06:02 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/24/2013 9:01:59 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 2/24/2013 8:50:32 PM, YYW wrote:
I'm a huge fan of The Green Mile, personally. My favorite Stephen King book ever written.

Never read it, although my favorite is The Gunslinger (absolutely only the unrevised version). Have you read The Running Man, Shawshank Redemption, The Long Walk, Under the Dome, 11/22/63, The Shining, or Cell?

I've never read Running Man, though Shawshank and Long Walk are both very good. Haven't read Under the Dome. The Shining is good, and I've never heard of Cell.

There's really nothing to compare with Cell in terms of pure horror. The Gunslinger deserves to be considered a true epic, though. In my opinion, it's better than any of the Harry Potter books. He writes very differently than how he usually does, but the final product has something in it nothing else (including his other works) can duplicate. It truly feels like an alien world. But beware of the "revised" version if you ever decide to read it (trust me on this).
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Rusty
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2/24/2013 10:04:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/24/2013 7:39:34 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 2/24/2013 6:59:50 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
OK, I'm talking about three members of this site: Cody, YYW, and charleslb. Each one is extremely literate and seems to know precisely the right words in order to make their points understood while using sesquipedalian rhetoric just as well (charleslb, in my estimation, is the best, and also the best at disguising the fact that he rarely has much of a point). Some of their posts are better in this regard than some peer-reviewed articles written by professors I've looked at. How do they do it? I consider myself to be very well spoken online, but even if you gave me the entire day to type up a post I couldn't make it sound quite like they do. So, as a writer, I'm just curious as to how they got that way, and if this is a learned trait or something they've always had (in which case I'm in luck, because I was always a speed-reader growing up).

You definitely don't want to write like charleslb. Trust me, when professors or educated people see that they writing the first thing they think is that you're full of yourself. You need to stress substance of over style. Professors much prefer a concise, intellectually vigorous style that avoids jargon whenever possible.

This this this.