Lisa, our VP of Marketing here at Simply Audiobooks, has introduced me to the fascinating world of readability grading. This neat little tool in Microsoft Word can assess any blob of text I give it for reading ease (from 1 to 100) and grade level (i.e. what school grade this text is suited for).
I’ve read a few (precious few) books on writing and I’ve never heard of such a thing. Sounds like its time to add some more titles to my Rental Shelf.
I’m going to start with Dwight Swain: Master Writing Teacher, just because I’m curious to see if a writer who has the balls to say that his insights are “legendary” and “priceless” can actually live up to the hype.
I’m going to try On Writing Well next, on a friend’s recommendation. This book is (I’m told) a classic based on a famous course at Yale. If itâ€™s good enough for Ivy League, it can’t be all bad.
And, just for fun, I’m going to re-rent one of my favorite old books, Stephen King’s On Writing. King writes so fluidly that even in print, it “sounds” like he’s talking directly to you; the audio book experience is even better.
A couple of nifty things about this book:
1) You get to hear an early draft of the creepy story 1408 (the one that inspired the movie with John Cusak) and
2) Half way through writing this book, King was involved in a wild car accident that nearly killed him. As a result the end part of the book is about how he recovered from the accident and returned to his craft; a clever touch.
For those of you who are curious, this blog has a readability rating of 79 and a grade level of 8.