Business Writing and Literary Writing

Nov 12, 2013 | Better Writing

When she read some wonderful comments about a novelist, my client bought one of the writer’s novels. At our next session, she said, “Lots of people think this person is a great writer, but she does a lot of things you told me not to do.”

It’s true. My client was reading literary fiction. I was coaching her to write business books and blog posts. The biggest difference between the two kinds of writing is the role of style. Not all good writing is good business writing.

Business writing is writing with a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is to persuade. Other times it’s to tell a story or explain a process. Anything that gets in the way of accomplishing that purpose is dysfunctional.

That’s why your business writing style should be transparent.

Bottom Line

When people praise your style for a piece of business writing, it means they weren’t giving full attention to the content.