I recently found out (see here) that my writing style can be described as minimalist. I am fascinated by this 'revelation' because it has helped me understand why I write the way I do. (I have no formal training or exposure to creative writing, so please bear with me.)

In other words, I let the language speak more than what is intended; I let readers create their own images based on the essential details and I prefer short descriptions that move the story rather than long descriptions that are static.

I am wondering if there are any seminal writing resources that focus on this style of writing. I am after textbook materials, rather than examples (I have read Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and I am still awed by its simplicity.)

3 Answers 3


Two of my favorite books on writing are "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, and "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser. While these books aren't about minimalist writing per se, they definitely emphasize eliminating clutter and creating clear, concise, high-impact writing. These books are useful for any writer, but I think would benefit your particular style.

Side note: As a kid, I was a huge fan of E.B. White's fiction (e.g. Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little). Now as an adult, I'm a huge fan of his non-fiction essays (e.g. One Man's Meat). You should check out his writings.


A contemporary, commercial example of this writing style is Lee Child's Jack Reacher series.

Simple, clear, and "pragmatic", I find it incredibly useful to aspiring writers in general because the skeleton of plot, characterization, and other story-telling components are clearly visible.


More than any how-to book, I've found the best references to be stories themselves. Reading is how writers get better. And the more you read, the more you're able to read as a writer, understanding how the words and sentences work together to create an effective piece.

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