Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write With Clarity, Emphasis, and Style

Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write With Clarity, Emphasis, and Style

by Stephen Wilbers

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Overview

Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write With Clarity, Emphasis, and Style by Stephen Wilbers

Make Every Word Memorable!

To be remembered for your words, you need to write with skill and style. Whether you're crafting a novel, composing an e-mail, or creating a technical report, Mastering the Craft of Writing presents 52 practical techniques to improve your prose. Spend a week with each technique, or use this book as a go-to reference. Either way, you'll have the tools to enliven your writing and delight your readers.

  • Write with economy: Eliminate wordiness, use strong verbs to drive your sentences, and don't trust modifiers.
  • Write with emphasis: Use punctuation for effect, structure sentences and paragraphs for coherency and flow, and employ repetition to make your point.
  • Write with distinction: Use your imagination to create the unexpected, add a light-hearted touch to your writing, and go beyond clarity to eloquence and grace.
With exercises, entertaining asides, and a wealth of useful information, Mastering the Craft of Writing is an invaluable resource for any writer. Once you master these techniques, you'll want to use them in everything you write.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599637907
Publisher: F+W Media
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 703,204
File size: 607 KB

About the Author

Stephen Wilbers is a writing consultant, award-winning author, and columnist. He has offered training seminars in effective writing to a wide variety of clients and teaches both written and oral presentation as a Senior Fellow in the University of Minnesota's Technological Leadership Institute. His book on stylistic technique, Keys to Great Writing, has been described as "a writing class in a book." An avid reader, canoeist, cyclist, Nordic ski racer, and two-time skydiver, he and his wife Debbie have two grown children and one granddaughter and live in Minneapolis.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Week 1 Listen to Your Language 5

Week 2 Write with Detail 9

Week 3 Appeal to the Senses 14

Week 4 Collect Good Words 19

Week 5 Know When to Use a Two-Bit Word 27

Week 6 Use the Appropriate Level of Formality 33

Week 7 Recognize Both Genders in Your Writing 39

Week 8 Delete That for Rhythm and Flow; Retain That for Clarity 44

Week 9 Avoid Indirect and Indefinite Negatives 49

Week 10 Make Every Word Count 53

Week 11 Eliminate Wordy References to Time 60

Week 12 Don't Trust Modifiers 64

Week 13 Use Strong Verbs to Drive Your Sentences 70

Week 14 Don't Nominalize; Verbalize 76

Week 15 Know When to Verb Your Nouns 80

Week 16 Unstack Those Noun Stacks 85

Week 17 Prefer the Active Voice-But Know When to Use the Passive 90

Week 18 Keep Your Verbs near Their Subjects 97

Week 19 Avoid Five Types of Mid-Sentence Shifts 103

Week 20 Punctuate for Emphasis 108

Week 21 Use Dashes for Dashing Effect 116

Week 22 Use Ellipses to Compress Your Sentences 122

Week 23 Use Semicolons to Both Separate and Connect 127

Week 24 Delight Your Reader with the Classic Setup 132

Week 25 Use Antithesis to Make Your Point by Contrast 137

Week 26 Build Toward Climax 141

Week 27 Trim Sentence Endings for Closing Emphasis 146

Week 28 Use Sentence Beginnings for Emphasis 150

Week 29 Subordinate to Control Your Emphasis 156

Week 30 Expand Your Sentence Repertoire by Adding Trailing Elements 161

Week 31 Hit 'Em with the Long-Short Combo 169

Week 32 Use Sentence Fragments to Punctuate Your Writing 174

Week 33 End with the Thought You Intend to Develop Next 182

Week 34 Start with Something Old; End with Something New 189

Week 35 Use Paragraphs to Frame Your Thought and Set Your Pace 194

Week 36 Use Three-Part Paragraphs to Organize Your Thought 201

Week 37 Write in Sentences, but Think in Paragraphs 206

Week 38 Conclude Your Paragraphs with a Click 210

Week 39 Use Parallel Structure to Create Rhythm 215

Week 40 Use Periodic Sentences to Create Suspense and Emphasis 222

Week 41 Cross Things up with Antimetabole and Chiasmus 228

Week 42 Use Anaphora and Epistrophe for Eloquence 234

Week 43 Create Rhythm with Anadiplosis and Isocolon 239

Week 44 Lay down a Beat… and Then Break the Rhythm 245

Week 45 Use Analogies and Comparisons to Enliven Your Writing 249

Week 46 Return to Your Metaphors and Similes 255

Week 47 Avoid Vogue Words and Clichés 261

Week 48 Use Your Imagination to Write with Personality and Style 267

Week 49 Add a Light-Hearted Touch to Your Writing 273

Week 50 Know Your Options for Comic Effect 278

Week 51 Go Beyond Clarity to Eloquence and Grace 286

Week 52 Develop Your Persona to Be the Person You Aspire to Be 290

Conclusion 295

Summary of Techniques 296

Glossary of Grammatical Terms 304

Index 307

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