Book Review: Peter Yang’s The Art of Writing, Four Principles for Great Writing that Everyone Needs to Know


“Transparent writing is writing that is explicit and lucid. Given the assertion that writing can not be artistic if not transparent, even if it complies with the other three concepts, I did question why transparency appears 2nd in the book, as opposed to first or last.

Following the paragraph, Yang supplies a number of examples to illustrate his ideas, however the examples, while accurate, do not have descriptions that may be useful to an amateur writer. The first a number of areas of the chapter on economy are rife with examples, but do not have clear explanations of what they show. In addition, exercises with a key would show beneficial and practical– another reason this book would work well as a text in a classroom with a trainer to facilitate practice.

He goes on to list 5 identifying attributes of artistic writers: meticulousness, awareness of audience, genuineness, realistic expectations, and flexibility with the 4 abovementioned principles. While his list of attributes is definitely legitimate, and he supplies brief descriptions of what these attributes are, the list lacks examples of artistic authors to highlight how they utilize these traits.

Yang sees “composing as a basic life skill” (X), a very valid position, though I would likewise add “procedure”– writing is a process and an essential life ability. A writer, he posits, who masters these 4 locations can, as an outcome, compose artistically, making writing “a jubilant activity” that leads to “individual satisfaction” (XIII).

Despite their questionable positioning in the book, Yangs ideas regarding transparency are spot-on. Especially pertinent areas consist of making use of figurative language (which Yang himself utilizes extremely well throughout the book), the usage of shifts in tense, and the avoidance of flowery language.

Peter Yangs The Art of Writing is likely to prove fascinating to a veteran author, who would appreciate his breakdown of composing into 4 basic concepts. It is a perfect text for the student of composing, offered the student has an instructor to elaborate on the concepts Yang touches on. The book is an excellent intro to writing, and with the ideal elaboration, would prove an exceptional text for anyone wanting to sharpen their writing abilities.

A lack of examples and thorough descriptions does plague the book, making it possibly more beneficial as an additional text in a composing course than an extensive evaluation of the composed word and how to best communicate through it. If utilized as an extra text with a skilled composing instructor to provide examples, descriptions, and exercises to accompany the book itself, it would prove incredibly helpful.

Something this chapter does better than the others is supply descriptions of the examples included.


In a nutshell …

The very first principle Yang analyzes is economy. Yang goes on to offer a short description of how to streamline a sentence, a description that makes sense to a seasoned writer, but may be lost on a beginner.

The personnel word in Peter Yangs book The Art of Writing: Four Principles for Great Writing that Everyone Needs to Know is “everybody.” As he composes in his introduction, “Everyone can be an author, if they so choose” (XII). Indeed, the book expresses the concept that, no matter occupation or position, all of us need to write, and compose well, and is a book for everybody. The experienced author may gain insights from the method Yang breaks down and evaluates the practice of writing, but the book would likely prove better to those preferring to improve their writing for the posterity, satisfaction, or workplace, along with to starting writers. With the exception of the reality that a knowledgeable writer or writing trainer is most likely to comprehend ideas in the book that Yang merely glosses over as opposed to deeply explaining, a feature of the book that may prove a downside to its intended audience, it would act as a practical handbook to the aspiring author, regardless of field.


Yangs chapter on variety is precise, however paradoxically enough, the 3 section titles are:

Differ Your Sentence Structure

Differ Your Paragraph Structure


The fourth and last principle Yang analyzes is harmony. The explanations in this chapter are clear, concise, and understandable, however do absence concrete examples to highlight the concepts. While an absence of examples is not most likely to matter to a veteran author, it might matter to a brand-new author.

After explaining the four fundamental principles, Yang consists of a final chapter that expresses his “Meditations on Writing.” In this chapter Yang writes, “Writing is not for the impatient. Mastery of writing is a long-lasting endeavor” (75 ). Yang could not be more proper. In my experience, Yang is likewise right about the worth of taking breaks from ones composing to increase motivation, along with about the value of taking risks in ones writing.

While all the above guidance is sound, I discovered the lack of range in the headings entertaining, though not inapproriate (here I violate Yangs recommendations to “Write in the Positive,” as explained on page 12). The headings are certainly transparent, and the descriptions that follow are genuine.


Overall, Peter Yangs The Art of Writing: Four Principles for Great Writing that Everyone Needs to Know expertly distills composing down into four standard principles. It is a exceptionally accessible and digestible read, however maybe too broad and generalizing. That stated, it is a book for the basic population, so maybe that is all fitting.


Differ Your Word Choice.

While veteran authors would be more than likely to comprehend and agree with the ideas expressed in this book, they do not always require this book. Rather, the book would be most enlightening to newbie writers or individuals who do not always consider themselves writers, but do compose, whether in their professional or personal lives; nevertheless, they would be maybe the least most likely to fully understand the concepts as they are discussed in this book– rather skeletally. For that reason, this book is best matched for a relatively experienced author interested in evaluating the written word, or as a guiding or supplemental text in a composing course where an instructor could supply further examples, deeper descriptions, and practical workouts.

© Amanda Sue Creasey

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The book expresses the concept that, regardless of occupation or position, we all require to write, and compose well, and is a book for everybody. The seasoned author may acquire insights from the method Yang breaks down and analyzes the practice of writing, however the book would likely show more helpful to those desiring to improve their composing for the enjoyment, work environment, or posterity, as well as to beginning writers. The book is a good intro to writing, and with the best elaboration, would prove an excellent text for anybody looking to refine their writing abilities.

Overall, Peter Yangs The Art of Writing: Four Principles for Great Writing that Everyone Needs to Know skillfully distills composing down into four standard principles. For that reason, this book is finest suited for a fairly knowledgeable author interested in evaluating the written word, or as a directing or extra text in a composing course in which a trainer might supply additional examples, deeper explanations, and useful workouts.

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