150 Words - What Makes a Good Writer
The ability to communicate any given message to any given audience using the fewest possible words and the most appropriate language – usually the simplest.
An awareness and understanding of structure, tone and rhetorical techniques; a love of some words and a hatred of others. (And a rational explanation for both, if pressed.)
A thirst for knowledge and a passion for the minutiae of the rules of language, tempered only with a realistic appreciation of its fluidity and that, ultimately, words come to mean what people use them to mean: a willingness to break old rules and make new ones.
An interest in and awareness of style guides and their influence on both editorial and – by extension – the expectations of the readership.
An appreciation of the reader, and the reader’s relationship with the writer, at all times.
The willingness to follow a brief to the letter.
A suitably jazzy waistcoat collection.