Foreword by Lawrence Block
Not since The Elements of Style has a writing guide had the ability to turn a writer's work around so effectively. Every writer struggles with keeping their prose focused and concise, but surprisingly few books address this essential topic. Write Tight is an informative and utterly readable guide that tackles these issues head-on.
William Brohaugh, former editor of Writer's Digest, goes beyond the discussion on redundancy and overwriting to take on evasiveness, affectations, roundabout writing, tangents and "invisible" words. Other topics include:
-Outlining the four levels of wordiness
-Identifying 16 types of flabby writing
-Exercises that help writers avoid wordiness
-Streamlining through sidebars and checklists
-Tests that show how concise a writer's prose is
"Write Tight is a supremely valuable, 'must-have' for aspiring writers in all fields from prose to nonfiction, journalistic copy, screenwriting and so much more." -Midwest Book Review
John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner’s lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics—from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence. Written with passion, precision, and a deep respect for the art of writing, Gardner’s book serves by turns as a critic, mentor, and friend. Anyone who has ever thought of taking the step from reader to writer should begin here.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Don’t get lost on the publishing path. Just forge ahead with the Writer’s Compass. Drawing on decades of professional experience as an author, editor, writing instructor, mentor, and marketing consultant, Elizabeth Lyon helps you navigate the art and craft of writing—with clear, easy-to-follow directions:
NORTHGetting Your Bearings
Understand your purpose and your audience; learn to refine your ideas, select effective titles, and find the best method of organization for any piece
Use checklists and guidelines to spot weaknesses and problems in leads, organization, conclusions, and style—and find out how to correct them
EASTLearning to Market
Map a successful cover letter, query letter, or proposal, and discover a four-step process to facilitate publication and sales
WESTRefining Your Vision
Brainstorm to gain perspective on your writing—and how it fits with your values, goals, and dreams
The country’s most prominent journalists and nonfiction authors gather each year at Harvard’s Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism. Telling True Stories presents their best advice—covering everything from finding a good topic, to structuring narrative stories, to writing and selling your first book. More than fifty well-known writers offer their most powerful tips, including:
• Tom Wolfe on the emotional core of the story
• Gay Talese on writing about private lives
• Malcolm Gladwell on the limits of profiles
• Nora Ephron on narrative writing and screenwriters
• Alma Guillermoprieto on telling the story and telling the truth
• Dozens of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists from the Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and more . . .
The essays contain important counsel for new and career journalists, as well as for freelance writers, radio producers, and memoirists. Packed with refreshingly candid and insightful recommendations, Telling True Stories will show anyone fascinated by the art of writing nonfiction how to bring people, scenes, and ideas to life on the page.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The ?exceptional, wonderful, amazing?(Vivian Jenkins Nelson, founder, The International Institute for Interracial Interaction) book that has sold nearly one million copies!
How to Say It® provides clear and practical guidance for what to say?and what not to say?in any situation. Covering everything from business correspondence to personal letters, this is the perfect desk reference for anyone who often finds themselves struggling to find those perfect words for:
? Apologies and sympathy letters
? Letters to the editor
? Cover letters
? Fundraising requests
? Social correspondence, including invitations and Announcements
This new edition features expanded advice for personal and business emails, blogs, and international communication.
What's the secret behind the successful and prolific careers of critically acclaimed novelists and short story writers Amy Bloom, Steve Almond, Jayne Anne Phillips, Alison Lurie, and others? Divine assistance? Otherworldly talent? An unsettlingly close relationship with the Muse? While the rest of us are staring at blank sheets of paper, struggling to come up with a first sentence, these writers are busy polishing off story after story and novel after novel. Despite producing work that may seem effortless, all of them have a simple technique for fending off writer's block: the writing exercise. In Now Write!, Sherry Ellis collects the personal writing exercises of today's best writers and lays bare the secret to their success.
- In "The Photograph," Jill McCorkle divulges one of her tactics for handling material that takes plots in a million different directions;
- National Book Award-nominee Amy Bloom offers "Water Buddies," an exercise for writers practicing their craft in workshops;
- Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal and Candyfreak, provides a way to avoiding purple prose in "The Five-Second Shortcut to Writing in the Lyric Register";
- and eighty-three more of the country's top writers disclose their strategies for creating memorable prose.
Complemented by brief commentary from the authors themselves, the exercises in Now Write! are practical and hands-on. By encouraging writers to shamelessly steal proven techniques that have yielded books which have won National Book Awards, Pulitzers, and Guggenheim grants, Now Write! inspires the aspiring writer to write now.