On Writing Well (Part 2)

After my post on Blogging for a Better World through Writing Well, I was sent another gem from journalist and columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, our friend and neighbor Diana Nelson Jones:



Some words and phrases are blobs. Others are paintbrushes whose narrow meanings instantly create pictures in the reader's mind. They are specific and concrete, not general and abstract. A storyteller uses paintbrushes when he or she can. If nouns like problem, situation, reaction or benefit tumble thoughtlessly from his typewriter, he immediately stops to ask himself if he can be more specific, more pictorial. What is the problem, situation, reaction or benefit he refers to? Can he toss out the blob and replace it with a term carrying needle-sharp precision?



~ William Blundell, "The Art and Craft of Feature Writing"