Sunday, December 30, 2012

On Writing by Stephen King & Something...

Nowadays I read <On Writing> by Stephen King. It's my second time.
I already read it two years ago, but I want to remind his advice about writing. So I skip first part about author's youth memory. I know the first part is so touching. It is not a typical myth of a poor guy's success.

Paper book version. it costs only $7.99.

From the second chapter, he explains his thought about good writing. The following quotes are from the second chapter, "Toolbox".
Remember that the basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful.

You should avoid the passive tense.

I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs

The rules are also valid when we write in Korean (I'm Korean). Maybe they are independent on a particular language. They related to human-thinking process.

I focus on the second rule. Even in Korean, passive sentences is taboo in the literature or composition class at school. Besides teachers instruct not to use "I think that" or "My opinion is that" ( the first expression looks indecisive and the second is useless. )

In the technical writing about science & engineering authors use so many passive sentence because the object they handle is not a human, just things like some components of mechanics or some chemicals.

How about social science or philosophy?

I don't have read any paper of social science. But I remember that there are so many passive sentences in news articles about economy. I guess that all "science" articles include passive sentences.

When writing a academic article such as a paper for conference, author is pressed to describe only dry relation ship between the objects. So they cannot avoid to choose a passive sentence by setting a object as a subject.

I bought a paper book version. I always use paper books because of their size & weight. Their price affect as well.


J.Y. Lee said...


J.Y. Lee said...