The Art of Writing

Four Principles for Great Writing that Everyone Needs to Know

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
109 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Peter Yang is an award-winning Canadian writer and public speaker. Born with a nose for narrative and news, Peter’s journalistic efforts have appeared in many different papers and other news outlets across Ontario and beyond.

Apart from his literary career, Peter is an experienced entrepreneur with a track record of helping early stage companies. He is the founder and CEO of Reviewerly, a tech startup focused on gathering customer reviews for online brands.

You can contact Peter Yang at:


    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Art of Writing is a nonfiction self-help writing/publishing book by Peter Yang. While teachers continue to impress upon their students the importance of writing, Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with the written form of communication aside from texting and hurriedly sent emails. Yang acknowledges that becoming an effective and effortless writer is a challenging activity requiring practice and hard work, but the importance of that form of communication spills over into every aspect of life.

In The Art of Writing, Yang offers four principles that can help aspiring writers flourish. The first one is economy. Yang shows how verbosity can dilute the power of your writing, and he offers examples of wordy vs. honed-down sentences to illustrate the difference. He introduces the concept of the “crutch word” and shows how to avoid them; and he offers suggestions on how to spot and correct tautologies, qualifiers, transition words and other unnecessary words. His second principle is transparency. He cautions that a lack of preparation before beginning to write can mean the difference between a “lucid and explicit” text and a bland, unconvincing collection of sentences. Expressing your intentions clearly and succinctly, free of ambiguity, clichés and jargon results in powerful writing. The third cornerstone is variety. Many writers fall into the trap of using a few familiar sentence structures. Varying sentence and paragraph lengths can keep readers interested and involved. The last principle is harmony. Is your use of voice consistent? Is your presentation uniformly “elegant” with adherence to a consistent style? Does your style exhibit parallelism? Are your arguments unified and do they lead to your conclusion?

The Art of Writing is an essential desk reference for students and anyone who wants to effectively communicate through their writing -- and who doesn’t? I was fascinated by Yang’s introductory chapter and appreciated how he introduced his four principles. While I’ve studied grammar and try to keep abreast of literature on the subject, I found the author’s work a worthwhile refresher and will be applying much of what I learned from him in the future. The Art of Writing is most highly recommended.

Edith Wairimu

Writing is a form of art that requires passion, continuous practice and sharpening of skills. In The Art of Writing, Peter Yang teaches four important writing skills which, when implemented, will make any writer’s work more appealing and impactful. The first principle he discusses is the skill of economy, which he explains as the ability to maintain succinctness while ensuring coherency. Transparency is another building block discussed in the book and pertains to the skill of communicating clearly without ambiguity or any other similar hindrances. In the third part, the place of diversity in writing is explored and explained. The importance of harmony in both language and thought appears in the last part as separate elements and also as a blend.

Peter Yang’s work is concise and clear without any unnecessary details yet delivers the message intended. The inclusion of illustrations makes it even easier to understand and learn. The examples are well designed to explain each principle and the problems that plague it. The issues that appear are diverse and they touch on many aspects of writing. The structure is also straightforward with clearly designated sections. Probably the most outstanding element of The Art of Writing by Peter Yang that really stood out for me was, first, the author’s emphasis on the significance of the writer’s involvement through their personality in their work. The second feature was the presentation of writing as a learning process that grows through the willingness to learn. The Art of Writing is a great asset to established and beginner writers.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

The written word is slowly dying. Almost anyone will tell you that. After all, text messaging and email are replacing the beautifully handwritten letters of our parents and grandparents. Handwritten letters are not the only reason to learn how to write well, however. Writing your own story, your own novel or really anything at all requires some level of skill. By focusing on the little things you too can become an excellent writer. All it takes is attention to four important steps: economy, transparency, variety and harmony. With The Art of Writing by Peter Yang, you will be able to see what it takes to change your writing for the better. Not only that, but you’ll be able to start right away. It only takes a few minutes to make a couple changes that could be a huge difference.

If you struggle with making your writing sound great, then you are not the only one. This book is a concise method of helping you express yourself and become a great writer. It’s not just about finding something to write about. It is about finding the right way to write it. Trimming down your writing, cutting out extra words, cutting down on long words and paragraphs, making sharp contrasts, saving the best for last and a whole lot more are some of the key components of this book. You’ll learn the simple and quick tips to make your writing sound a whole lot better to your reader in The Art of Writing by Peter Yang.

Tracy Young

The Art of Writing has four main sections: economy, transparency, variety and harmony. Using these four headings, Peter Yang breaks down these sections into relevant topics that are covered by the principle. Using examples to illustrate his points, he shares his expertise clearly and concisely. Economy covers subjects such as tautologies and sentence simplification, while transparency deals with shifting tenses and ambiguity, along with other common mistakes made by writers. Variety and harmony are covered more succinctly as structure and language are taken into consideration. Peter Yang then goes on to share his views on writing as an art form, how to use your time well and other pertinent subjects that anyone who has ever attempted to write well will recognize.

As a writer, I appreciate any advice that is aimed at improving my skills. I found The Art of Writing by Peter Yang to be a useful tool and his book was refreshingly honest and helpful. The examples given illustrated his points perfectly and his comparison of a writer to a member of the acting profession was a revelation to me. I quickly recognized that when I write I adopt a persona, much like an actor, and this explains a lot about my process. This is a great book for writers of all styles and experience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in improving their writing and, indeed, to anyone who mourns the lack of writing in these modern times. Great job, Peter, I look forward to connecting with you on your site, The Artistic Writer’s Checklist.

Mamta Madhavan

The Art of Writing by Peter Yang speaks about the importance of writing and its impact on the individual and broader society. The beginning of the written word is the beginning of history and we all know how tragic life would be without history. In recent times there has been a steady decline in the written word and pursuing a writing career has become almost extinct. Writing is difficult and it requires discipline. In this handy guide, the author shares the four key principles -- economy, transparency, variety, and harmony -- that will help readers brush up on their writing skills and make it enriching and attractive, and make them more creative writers.

The author’s approach to the topic is interesting and I like the way he gives techniques to revive the lost art of writing. They are simple and will come in handy to all those who are looking to improve on their writing skills. The author’s words will help readers value the ability to write well and make them consider that writing is an important skill that is slowly becoming obsolete.

Why don’t people like to write? The author tries to find reasons for disliking writing nowadays and he asks readers to look at the four principles so that these can help them develop a penchant for writing good content again. The book rediscovers the fundamental skill of writing in an interesting way and highlights the significance of good writing. Are you ready to express yourself better?

Dianne Matthews,

I teach writing to teens, and my hope was that this book would be helpful. I began using it in my classroom even before I finished reading it. Artistic writing is a joy for those of us who enjoy it, but for the reluctant reader, writing is scary. This book puts the writing process into four principles and explains the foundation of writing in a simple way that is not only easy to understand, but easy to remember. The book has great examples for each level of the process.

I love that the book is clear and concise, both for students and for me, as I have a lot on my "teacher" plate. The Art of Writing is now on a shelf in the student library where I am sure it will be used for many years.