John McPhee on "Omission"

For the past couple of years John McPhee, the eminence grise of nonfiction reporting, has been publishing occasional pieces about the craft of writing in the pages of The New Yorker. Each time I see one I nearly salivate. Every one is a gem, not only in the advice he gives but in the writing itself. He walks his talk.

The September 14, 2015 issue contains the latest jewel, "Omission: Choosing What to Leave Out." Fans of McPhee and his seminal book "Oranges" will howl at the story of how that article, and the subsequent book, came to be. McPhee takes two pages just to set up a punch line about the term "short form extractor" that is a study in comedic writing. It's a little gift hidden in the larger present. I can't recommend the piece enough. Any writer who can follow McPhee's advice will be a writer much in demand, indeed.

With luck, this link will work for you, although you may find the article behind a paywall.