Blazing Center / Writing / January 16, 2014

7 Standards for Good Writing

From my latest post at The Blazing Center:

What is good writing? This book isn’t very good. That one is. But what is this “good”? Some might say good writing is only a matter of preference, but that gives too much power to one with limited taste. If you only like theology books then Pat Conroy’s heartbreaking novels won’t seem so good to you. But you’d be wrong.

How can I call an opinion about a subjective form wrong? Well, because there are standards by which I can argue. Yes, each standard is open for debate, but combine them all and a sieve of sorts is formed to sift the poor works and let through the quality ones.

Writing is good when its purpose is good.

. . .

Writing is good when it fulfills its purpose well.

. . .

Writing is good if the thinking behind it is good.

. . .

Writing is good if it expresses good thinking well.

. . .

Writing is good if it is technically proficient.

. . .

Writing is good if it isn’t self-conscious.

. . .

Writing is good when it makes the reader both more conscious of self and less self-conscious.

. . . 

These seven standards combine into a whole. None can be removed and a piece of writing remain good. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but maybe it will be helpful to you in your own reading and in conversation.

Read the full post HERE.

photo credit: notashamed via photopin cc

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