With the ultimate command of the written word and a strong belief that expression itself being more important than the words expressed, Mark Twain had profound views on writing style. He was never quiet in his opinions of others who claimed mastery in this art.
Twain's instance of dissecting of James Cooper's work The Deerslayer reveals his heralding thoughts on writing. Concerning a romantic fiction, Twain remarks that Cooper's writing should have accomplished something, but it did not.
In Mark Twain's Notebook, he speaks of the best time to start writing is after you have written to complete satisfaction. Only then can you truly understand what you are really trying to say and begin writing.
Giving advice in a letter to one Emeline Beach in 1868, Twain explains that just having ideas and expressing them correctly are not necessarily congruent. One must be able to elegantly put idea to paper without exaggerated length.
His thoughts on good grammar are exceptional and most writers would be lacking if not heeding the advice. Twain believes by utilizing clarity of words and statements, along with allowing the words to flow as sweet music to the ear, will alleviate any need to follow grammatical rules.
And when measuring what makes a great writing, during a speech given in 1887 he exclaimed that style and subject matter overrule fancy words hidden in the premise of good grammar.
One particular thought of Twain's that exposed his impatience for fluff in writing is his view of dumbing-down the reader. It is never appropriate to use foreign words or phrases in attempt to awe the reader into believing you're skilled with full knowledge of said language.
Most importantly, though, Twain is adamant about the use of adjectives and difficult to understand sentences. With most readers maintaining a reading level of 7th grade schooling, it is wise to minimize fluff and long-windedness.
Simply adding words or unnecessary details in order to appear to have more to say is what Twain calls "crass stupidities."
Twain's thoughts that writing should be reader friendly spill over into his views of the English alphabet. He liked to call it drunk for it complexity. There should be no reason why it could not be reformed and was a firm supporter of Andrew Carnegie's efforts to this end.
But since the alphabet remains unchanged as given, it must be the task of the writer to use clear words to define ideas.
Mark Twain and his thoughts on writing would assist any aspiring writer to become better at his or her art. Using the rights words, but not omitting details and always using a simple, uncomplicated style will prove to find success.