I’ve just finished Handy’s most recent book, The Second Curve. I made lots of notes. I had several of those moments when I went for a walk so I could turn something Handy said over and over in my mind.
The advice I’m going to share below comes from that book, but it’s not from Handy himself. He relates the story of how he gave his mother a copy of his first book. Later, he noticed that she hadn’t read past page ten and asked her why. Here’s what Handy’s mother said:
“I don’t know why you need to use all those new words. Surely there are enough in the Book of Common Prayer and the works of Shakespeare to cover all you need to say.”
He describes it as the best editorial advice he ever received.
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If you want even more writing advice from writers, check out Jon Winokur’s blog, “AdvicetoWriters.”