Another book read, another set of shiny pencils to toss into the toolbox. Writing Tools, written by Roy Peter Clark, is a book I would highly recommend. The book provides you with, 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (which is emblazoned on the cover).
Each strategy is a chapter/section of its own, and I found them to be very easy to read and understand. Clark uses examples from published works to emphasize points and support his writing. The quotes I placed in the photo are some of the one-liners he provides at the opening of his chapters.
Additionally, this book offers some really interesting tools and tips to work through common issues writers face. I have referenced his work in past blog posts—most notably his strategy for busting up clichés (located here).
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this book is the sheer amount of well-written content. Many of the non-fiction writing books I own have twenty chapters or so. Some of those books stretch out concepts to fill space (at least that’s how it feels to me sometimes). This book is very concise with information because it tackles fifty topics.
Topics range wildly but are organized into four main parts. Starting with the basics of grammar, punctuation, syntax, style, and usage, the author then begins to build on those basics. Showing you how to achieve effects with these rules and make them work with you. The idea is you need know the rules so you can manipulate them. I love this kind of thinking.
This book continues to be a staple for me both as a writer and an editor. When I work with clients, especially when they are working with a new manuscript, I like to address issues with potential solutions. This book is handy because the material is condensed and easy to share. I’ve used the contents within this book more than once during video and phone conversations with clients to help them understand why certain things they are doing go against the grain. I’ve also used it to illustrate stylistic opportunities they could take advantage of to enhance their story. It seems easier for folks to accept advice when the viewpoint is reinforced by other professionals.
That’s it for today. If you are curious about some of the other writing books I have read you can check out a listing of them I made by clicking right here. I’m constantly eating my greens, and I encourage you to do the same. If you have a book recommendation, I would love to hear about it! I’m always looking for more books to devour. Until tomorrow, keep reading, keep writing, and as always—stay sharp!