Invisible writing

August 13, 2005 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

One of the best mystery novelists around today is William G. Tapply, creator of the Brady Coyne mystery series. Tapply’s novels live up to the cover blurbs — well-formed characters, tightly woven plots and elegant writing. Tapply practices what many of us who teach writing often preach, and he gives voice to some of those practices in an essay on his web site called “Invisible Writing.” The essay tells the story of what Tapply learned from his father — also an excellent writer — when he was beginning his craft. The essay emphasizes two major points I make with my students: pay attention to verbs (read more on this) and try to make your writing invisible to the reader. The term I use for the second point is “modesty.” A good writer should try to put the content in the foreground and the writer in the background. Tapply’s essay and his novels are well worth reading.

Read more about journalism and issues facing the profession at

Get a FREE copy of Kill the Quarterback

Get a free digital copy of Jim Stovall's mystery novel, Kill the Quarterback. You will also get Jim's newsletter and advanced notice of publications, free downloads and a variety of information about what he is working on. Jim likes to stay in touch, so sign up today.

Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.