The Writer's Book of Wisdom: 101 Rules for Mastering Your Craft

Overview

The Perfect Source for Instruction and Inspiration!

Part writing coach and part personal muse, The Writer's Book of Wisdom shows you how to hone your skills and liberate your creativity. Novelist and poet Steven Goldsberry offers 101 thoughtful, concise, and proven techniques to help you with everything from first-draft outlines and plot development to precise word choice and correct sentence structure.

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Overview

The Perfect Source for Instruction and Inspiration!

Part writing coach and part personal muse, The Writer's Book of Wisdom shows you how to hone your skills and liberate your creativity. Novelist and poet Steven Goldsberry offers 101 thoughtful, concise, and proven techniques to help you with everything from first-draft outlines and plot development to precise word choice and correct sentence structure.

Whether you're writing fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, The Writer's Book of Wisdom shows you how to overcome mental roadblocks, infuse your language with energy, and master the essential elements of the craft. With technical guidance and heart-felt motivation, this book is a must-have resource guaranteed to teach and inspire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582974941
  • Publisher: F+W Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/15/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Goldsberry's novels include Maui the Demigod, Luzon, and Over Hawaii and his poetry has appeared in the New Yorker. With more than 25 years of experience as a writing instructor, he's currently a professor at the University of Hawaii, and speaks at numerous writing conferences, including the Maui Writers Conference.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Part 1 Approach
Rule 1 Learn the rules before you break them 14
Rule 2 Writing is more craft than art 17
Rule 3 Believe in yourself even if no one else does 18
Rule 4 True inspiration must be earned by writing 20
Rule 5 Write to be great, not rich 22
Rule 6 Get used to despair 25
Rule 7 Fail 27
Rule 8 Keep your writing exercises in perspective 28
Rule 9 Be prepared to fight your demons 30
Rule 10 Stay out of sight 32
Rule 11 Work in an inspiring environment 34
Rule 12 Think of writing sessions as entertainment 36
Rule 13 Electronic voices destroy inspiration 38
Rule 14 Return to the basics 40
Rule 15 Generate text 42
Rule 16 Break away from your labors 44
Rule 17 Stop reading this book 46
Rule 18 Resist distractions 48
Rule 19 Produce multiple drafts 50
Rule 20 Think of your first draft as a blue-book essay exam 52
Rule 21 Ignore the length of your first draft 54
Rule 22 Practice mechanical learning 56
Rule 23 Seek the wisdom of others 58
Rule 24 Keep yourself open to serendipity 60
Rule 25 Borrow (and steal) from your favorite writers 62
Rule 26 Always have a notebook and pen on hand 64
Rule 27 Keep a "read-in-progress" nearby 66
Rule 28 Create an anthology of your favorite literature 68
Rule 29 Feed on words 70
Rule 30 Subscribe to magazines 72
Rule 31 Carry a camera 74
Rule 32 Write as therapy 76
Rule 33 Think of writing as a hobby 78
Part 2 Language
Rule 34 Buy and study a grammar book 82
Rule 35 Master metaphor 84
Rule 36 But try not to overdo it 86
Rule 37 The "as" clause is for amateurs 88
Rule 38 Avoid cliches and stock phrases 90
Rule 39 Trust the precision of your nouns and verbs 92
Rule 40 Don't overuse negatives 94
Rule 41 Be mindful of your diction 96
Rule 42 Avoid repeating words that sound or look similar 98
Rule 43 Play with words 100
Rule 44 Collect good titles and practice writing your own 102
Rule 45 Be brief 104
Rule 46 For speed in communication, write clearly 106
Rule 47 Accelerate the pace with "invisible writing" 108
Rule 48 Vary sentence structure and type 110
Rule 49 Be interesting with every sentence 113
Rule 50 The discipline of poetry will sharpen your sentences 114
Rule 51 Sentences are written like jokes: The punch line is at the end 116
Rule 52 Write toward climax 118
Rule 53 The first duty of the writer is to entertain 120
Rule 54 Tell your story as fast as you can 122
Part 3 Craft
Rule 55 Write like you talk 128
Rule 56 Trust the power of your own voice 130
Rule 57 Command attention immediately 132
Rule 58 Design your opening page for maximum impact 134
Rule 59 Start where the story gets interesting 136
Rule 60 Never save your best for last 138
Rule 61 Master the basics of literature 140
Rule 62 Mix description, narration, exposition, and dialogue 142
Rule 63 For structure, remember the Golden Triangle 145
Rule 64 Use the classical plot outline 146
Rule 65 A more detailed plot outline provides your template 148
Rule 66 Allow the process of discovery to happen naturally 151
Rule 67 Dialogue heightens drama 152
Rule 68 Dialogue speeds the process of discovery 154
Rule 69 Dialogue creates tension 156
Rule 70 Use dialogue tags correctly 158
Rule 71 Establish point of view early 160
Rule 72 Keep your characters real 162
Rule 73 Give the opposition quality attention 164
Rule 74 Tell a dream and you risk boring a reader 166
Rule 75 Setting matters 168
Rule 76 Allow for descriptive passages 170
Rule 77 Practice the elements of description 172
Rule 78 Use images to deliver ideas 174
Rule 79 Avoid commentary; let readers make their own deductions 176
Rule 80 Tell them stories to keep them reading 178
Rule 81 Reveal past events through exposition or flashback 180
Rule 82 Shift focus often 182
Rule 83 Know your theme 184
Rule 84 Go with God, but write with the devil 186
Rule 85 Resolve all conflicts by the end of the story 188
Rule 86 Writing is the vehicle for truth 190
Rule 87 Maintain the trance of verisimilitude 192
Rule 88 Writing offers hope 194
Rule 89 Think about your readers 196
Rule 90 Revise with a critical eye and outside help 198
Rule 91 Art shows up in rewriting 200
Rule 92 Get distance from your work 202
Rule 93 Revise for speed 204
Rule 94 Trust the muse of revision 206
Rule 95 If you can be misread, you will be 208
Rule 96 Ultimately, content matters more than craft 210
Rule 97 Know how to sell it 212
Rule 98 Study the board 214
Rule 99 Submit a professional manuscript 216
Rule 100 Aspire to reach a universal audience 218
Rule 101 Embrace the wisdom of opposing views 220
Appendix Evaluation Guide for Your Writing 223
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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Writers Book of Wisdom

    What can one say about a book that is full of solid advice for the author or would be author. A quick and easy read, the basics of becoming a published author are broken down into bite sized easily digested segments. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering entering the field of writing. This is a book you will want to keep on your reference shelf within easy reach...

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