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Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces [NOOK Book]

Overview

The craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head.

In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short ...
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Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces

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Overview

The craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head.

In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem. Out of ideas? Read posters, billboards, and graffiti. Can't bear to edit yourself? Watch the deleted scenes feature of a DVD, and ask yourself why those scenes were left on the cutting-room floor. HELP! FOR WRITERS offers 210 strategies to guide writers to success.
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Editorial Reviews

Ammon Shea
Praise for The Glamour of Grammar:

"A grammar manual for the 21st century--a little more earthy, a little more relaxed. A welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone who cares about language."

Barbara Fisher
"A fine common-sense guide to the proper use of language."
Margaret Heilbrun
"[Roy Peter] Clark takes readers through a well-paced presentation...he conveys the magic that is to be found in English, in its ever active evolution."
Jason Fry
"A wealth of practical advice delivered with a welcome side of gentle reassurance, Roy Peter Clark's Help! For Writers breaks the writing process down into seven steps, spotlighting 21 problems that befall writers along the way and addressing them with 210 solutions. No matter where you get stuck, dip into this book and you'll find tips and tricks to get yourself moving again -- all accompanied by the humor, wit and cheerful sympathy that have made Clark one of the country's most beloved and effective writing teachers."
Colette Bancroft
"A streamlined, accessible, witty book...[Clark] is a coach rather than a scold, encouraging readers to 'live inside the language.'"
Chuck Leddy
"An engaging and witty exploration of the shifting rules of English grammar...Clark shows breathtaking knowledge of how language is used in the real world and a passionate commitment to helping writers make good choices."
From the Publisher
Praise for The Glamour of Grammar:

"A grammar manual for the 21st century--a little more earthy, a little more relaxed. A welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone who cares about language."—Ammon Shea, New York Times Book Review

"A fine common-sense guide to the proper use of language."—Barbara Fisher, Boston Globe

"A streamlined, accessible, witty book...[Clark] is a coach rather than a scold, encouraging readers to 'live inside the language.'"—Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times

"An engaging and witty exploration of the shifting rules of English grammar...Clark shows breathtaking knowledge of how language is used in the real world and a passionate commitment to helping writers make good choices."—Chuck Leddy, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Who knew that a discussion of grammar could induce laughter? This is an eminently readable, extremely enjoyable guide that readers will find highly useful on their path to development, not just as writers, but as readers."—Publishers Weekly

"[Roy Peter] Clark takes readers through a well-paced presentation...he conveys the magic that is to be found in English, in its ever active evolution."—Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal

"A wealth of practical advice delivered with a welcome side of gentle reassurance, Roy Peter Clark's Help! For Writers breaks the writing process down into seven steps, spotlighting 21 problems that befall writers along the way and addressing them with 210 solutions. No matter where you get stuck, dip into this book and you'll find tips and tricks to get yourself moving again -- all accompanied by the humor, wit and cheerful sympathy that have made Clark one of the country's most beloved and effective writing teachers."—Jason Fry, blogger, Reinventing the Newsroom

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316192750
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 9/21/2011
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 701,993
  • File size: 580 KB

Meet the Author

Roy Peter Clark is vice president and senior scholar at The Poynter Institute, one of the most prestigious schools for journalists in the world. He has taught writing at every level--from schoolchildren Pulitzer Prize winners--for more than thirty years, and has spoken about the writer's craft on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and NPR and at news organizations from the New York Times to The Sowetan in South Africa. A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes, he has authored or edited fifteen books about writing and journalism, including Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Seven Steps of the Writing Process 3

How to Get Help! 9

Step 1 Getting Started 11

1 I can't think of anything to write 17

2 I hate writing assignments and other people's ideas 28

3 I have trouble doing all the research 38

Step 2 Getting Your Act Together 49

4 My work habits are so disorganized 55

5 I can never find what I need when I need it 66

6 I have too much material to handle 75

Step 3 Finding Focus 87

7 I don't know what my story is really about 93

8 I struggle with the beginning 104

9 I have problems selecting my best stuff 119

Step 4 Looking for Language 129

10 My vocabulary is so limited 135

11 My early drafts are littered with clichés 146

12 My words don't make things clear 156

Step 5 Building a Draft 167

13 I am totally blocked 173

14 I can't stop procrastinating 184

15 I have trouble working from a plan 194

Step 6 Assessing Your Progress 205

16 I'm slow and miss my deadlines 211

17 My middles sag 220

18 It never ends well 228

Step 7 Making It Better 239

19 I don't know what to revise and run out of time 245

20 My work is way too long 254

21 I resent criticism and editing 265

Final Step Keeping the Faith 273

25 Favorite Writing Books 277

Acknowledgments 283

Index 285

Excerpt from Writing Tools 297

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    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.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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