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Books about Writing

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On Writing Well

"Whether you write an occasional professional letter or a daily newspaper column, William Zinsser's On Writing Well should be required reading. Simplicity is Zinsser's mantra: he preaches a stripped-down writing style, strong and clear. He has no patience for excess (most use of adjectives and adverbs, he writes, just adds clutter) or tired phraseology (for instance, he'd like to outlaw all leads involving those "future archaeologists" most often found "stumbl[ing] upon the remains of our civilization"). He recommends that all writers of nonfiction read their work aloud (don't commit something to paper that you wouldn't actually say) and write under the assumption that "the reader knows nothing" (not to be confused with assuming the reader's an idiot). In addition to the chapters on the expected--usage, audience, interviews, leads--Zinsser also focuses on such trouble spots as science and technical writing, business writing, sports, and humor."

Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School

The faculty of the Gotham Writers' Workshop-which now has 6,000 students not only in New York City but around the world (with online classes)-use an original approach in this how-to: Raymond Carver's classic story "Cathedral" (reprinted in the book) serves as a basis for their discussion of technique. The contributors are not household names, but all are published authors of fiction. Chapters touch on all the essentials: character development, pacing, dialogue and revision ("Real Writers Revise" the chapter title exhorts). All expand on the idea that "good writing comes down to craft far more than most people realize," while also reminding aspiring authors that "rules are made to be broken." The writing is fresh and full of concrete advice (e.g., "Desire is in the heart of every dimensional character"), and exercises allow students to explore what they have learned. This is an excellent starting place for someone exploring the art and craft of writing fiction. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

100 Ways to Improve Your Writing"Not too many times, after you've left school do you sit back and go through your writing critically, in order to improve it. I believe this book to have a quality unlike many others: it takes you by the hand, and if you give it the necessary time, and USE the tips given, you'll soon realise you're writing in ways you never thought possible. It teaches you how to be critical of your own work, how to listen to what you write, how to look at things from a different perspective (put yourself in your reader's shoes, for example). It has so many ways in which it can help yourself, and yet, with Provost's humor, you never grow tired of it." As of today, I'm past the middle of the book, and I have mixed feelings: on one side I don't want it to be over (I've just learned SO MUCH with it...) on the other I can't help to go through the rest of it to learn all that it has to offer (I guess I'll reread it later on, anyway!) I have not read such a small but helpful book in a long time. It might easily translate into the best spent 5 bucks ever, if you're into writing.
The Easy Step by Step Guide to Writing Newsletters and Articles

"Many organisations use newsletters to target their audience, raise their profile and communicate their products and services. Charities use them to inform and fundraise. But what makes a successful newsletter one that is read and remembered? Good lively content is essential. This guide will show you how to produce newsletters. It will also show you how to obtain commissions for freelance article writing and how to write articles. In this guide: How to get the brief right How to get commissioned How to open articles, make them flow and use good closing paragraphs How to use case studies Where to fnd experts, how to interview them and how to write it up How to design and lay out Newsletters."

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