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Posted September 28, 2011
Practical advice and exercises for writers of all levels
I gravitate towards books on writing and grammar in the hope that I'll become a better writer and reduce the tension and procrastination that often characterize a major deadline. Unfortunately, while I tend to be optimistic about improving my writing, much as I tend to look for the latest fitness books in the hope that this will encourage me to "be more disciplined and healthier", my follow through often falls short.
If you write and have reached the point where you feel ready to show your work to friends and critics, I know that you will benefit from the advice that Roy Clark offers above.
If you are still "working on" your writing, Help! For Writers provides practical advice and a technical approach to writing and thinking about writing. When writing and editing, we try to pare our language down to the essentials, much the way that artists, creatives, and even lawyers reduce their ideas to the essential elements. Clark suggests specific ways to do this, to reduce the unnecessary parts.
I'm a timid writer. I tend towards putting things away, disappointed by the first draft. But chapter 11 "My early drafts are littered with cliches" helped me put things in perspective. The advice encourages us to realize that even mistakes and weaknesses can be used to bring us closer to our writing goals. Clark encourages clear thinking and careful use of language directly and through his tips and exercises.
While some books target a specific goal, such as writing a screenplay or a novel in several steps or using certain structures, Help! For Writers points out that "the writer does not have to get all Gothic to build cathedrals of words. On many occasions, the holy trinity of beginning, middle, and end will get the job done." Clark has gentle suggestions to help look at our problems and roadblocks and learn from them. Clark gives us examples from other writers which made the concepts concrete. Help! For Writers encourages us to write and gives specific and practical advice geared towards getting us to keep writing and to become better writers.
ISBN-10: 0316126713 - Hardcover $22.99
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 21, 2011), 304 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 16, 2011
Help! For Writers
Help! For Writers is just that. I was hoping to learn something new and get me motivated to write again (it's been awhile) and this book has some motivational tools and suggestions not only for those who have writer's block, but those who procrastinate (me). It also gives ideas on how to find your ideas. At first, I thought it was a book to help those who write magazine articles, but it is so much more. I believe this book will be dog-eared and used over and over by many writers.
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Posted April 24, 2012
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