I’ve never read William Zinsser‘s classic book: On Writing Well but I clearly should. In part, it’s because one of his 5 tips on how to become a better writer is a huge central concept of how to become a better visual storyteller: take me on a journey. In video for the web in this class (and as a whole) , you need to take someone on a journey, not just give a report.

William Zinsser, a fourth-generation New Yorker, at a subway station near his office in mid-Manhattan.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent phone interview he gave to Poynter.org

 “All writing to me is a journey. It’s saying to the reader, ‘Come along with me; I’ll take you on a voyage,’ ” Zinsser said. “These writers do that by never losing sight of the fact that they are telling a story.”

Too often, Zinsser said, people become so preoccupied with writing well that they clutter their stories with unnecessary words that lead readers astray. Good writers make every word count, and they avoid abstractions.
“Nobody wants abstractions,” Zinsser said. “They want specific details that help them discover something new.”

Ahhh, details. I feel like I beat and beat and beat the concept that close-ups and extreme closeups are crucial to good visual story telling. Nice to see they’re crucial to the written version too.





Print Friendly, PDF & Email