“How to Write with Style,” Kurt Vonnegut, from How to Use the Power of the Written Word. Read it here.
Vonnegut is an enduring treasure trove of literary advice — everyone you know has seen this excellent video of the man explaining the shapes of stories — and this little essay is no different: clever, whip-smart, and told with joy.
“Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing. If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your reader will surely feel that you care nothing about them. They will mark you down as an ego maniac or a chowderhead — or, worse, they will stop reading you.”