Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language & Style

Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language & Style

by Arthur Plotnik
     
 
When too tightly leashed, writing chokes and loses its vitality. Although the rules of composition popularized in William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White’s Elements of Style have been de rigueur for decades, they won’t exactly set your writing free.

To the rescue comes Spunk & Bite, a guide to bold and radiant language and style. The

Overview

When too tightly leashed, writing chokes and loses its vitality. Although the rules of composition popularized in William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White’s Elements of Style have been de rigueur for decades, they won’t exactly set your writing free.

To the rescue comes Spunk & Bite, a guide to bold and radiant language and style. The secret, according to bestselling author and former publishing executive Arthur Plotnik, is to embrace those qualities that composition rulebooks sidestep–among them, surprise, personality, engagement, edge, and fearlessness. Drawing on selections from today’s most exciting writers–Jonathan Franzen, Sandra Cisneros, Bill Bryson, Maureen Dowd, and many dozens more–Plotnik reveals the tricks and techniques that make prose fresh, forceful, and publishable.

For all types of writing–novels, articles, poems, ad copy, blogs, and even e-mail–this uncommon handbook reveals how to make your words so fetching that readers beg for more.

Arthur Plotnik is an author, and former publishing executive. Two of his works have been featured as Book of the Month Club selections: The Elements of Editing and The Elements of Expression: Putting Thoughts into Words . Reviewers have consistently praised Plotnik’s writing for its accuracy, style, and wit, often ranking it with Strunk & White in practicality.

Plotnik studied under Philip Roth and Vance Bourjaily at the Iowa Writers Workshop . As a publisher, he brought five national awards to the American Library Association’s book imprint. He also won numerous honors as editor of ALA’s flagship magazine, American Libraries.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
This peppery guide to vibrant writing ... makes for addictive reading for both aspiring and veteran writers.
—(Joanne Wilkinson)
Writer
Arhur Plotnik . . . has written a book that perfectly supplements the brilliance of Strunk & White, encouraging writers to move beyond the safe, well known Strunkian rules. . . . Spunk & Bite is filled to the brim with his energy and engaging sense of humor. . . . Plotnik blends erudition with hilarity, backing up his advocacy with countless examples of writers who prove that taking risks can pay large literary dividends. . . . A run-down-to-your-local-bookstore-and-buy-a-copy-and-stay-up-all-night-reading -it kind of book.
—(Chuck Leddy)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Although some reviews of Plotnick's earlier The Elements of Editing compared it to Strunk and White's classic Elements of Style, Plotnik lambastes those two old codgers as outdated dictators of clarity and correctness whose influence has stifled generations of creative stylists. Plotnik demonstrates how, in fact, unexpected humor, loquaciousness, and apt description can jolt a writer into engaged authorship. This primer is dotted with illustrative examples that range from Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling to Dave Barry and Maeve Binchy. Plotnik, wh o is an accomplished writer, editor, and publisher, is not throwing out all the rules, however. He shores up some of his own opinions in chapters titled "Hunting Down Danglers" and "The Earnestly Engaging Sentence." He takes on the art of the semicolon and the use of quotation marks within dialog. He even attempts a feng shui conception of sentence structure. Spunk & Bite is certainly a catchier title than How To Break the Rules of Writing and Win, and, overall, this is an entertaining and engaging choice for writers. Recommended for all libraries.-Ann Schade, Edgewood Coll., Madison, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375721151
Publisher:
Diversified Publishing
Publication date:
11/15/2005
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Andrea J. Sutcliffe
" Spunk & Bite belongs next to Strunk & White on every writer's desk."
editor, The New York Public Library Writer's Guide to Style and Usage
Billy Collins
. . . A guide to lively, sparkling writing that serves in itself---sentence by sentence--as an example of all the advice being offered. A must for every writer's desk.
MediaBistro.com
"Encouraging writers to be bold and bright, sharp and sly, Plotnik challenges the old rules in his new book Spunk & Bite."
November 17, 2005
Richard Lederer
". . . Plotnik not only knows how to write about spunk and bite. He writes with spunk and bite. So will you, if you take in the wisdom of his colorful, learned, and caring advice."
co-author of The Write Way and Comma Sense

Meet the Author

Arthur Plotnik is a former publishing executive and author of the Book of the Month Club selections The Elements of Editing and The Elements of Expression: Putting Thoughts into Words.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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