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Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Roy Peter Clark
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  • Sprache: Englisch
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Produktbeschreibungen

From Booklist

The author, vice president of the Poynter Institute School of Journalism, wants you to understand that a tool isn't the same thing as a rule. A tool is something designed to help you, not constrict you. The 50 tools discussed here take writers through the process of storytelling in prose, from the basic (construct a sentence with a subject and a verb) to the advanced (make your characters archetypes, not stereotypes). Many of Clark's rules are technical, having to do with such matters as punctuation and tense, but some of them are more thematically oriented (for example, discussions of the proper uses of foreshadowing and suspense). Use the tools when you like, the author says, and throw them away when it suits you. Just know what it is you're throwing away and why. This is a useful tool for writers at all levels of experience, and it's entertainingly written, with plenty of helpful examples. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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5.0 von 5 Sternen 50 Tools to Better Writing. 9. März 2007
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
So many writing books out there and so few actually live up to their promise or your expectations. If you only buy one book on writing, then let it be this one. Sure, you don't only need one book; you probably need 'A Writer's Coach' by Jack Hart too.

Roy Peter Clark is a literary genius and his '50 essential strategies' are worth their weight in plutonium. Read it three times: once, straight through. Once more, one tool per day. And one last time, over the course of the rest of your life.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Compact Reference 14. Februar 2011
Von Hope
Format:Taschenbuch
Great Book but slightly overrated. It's a great collection of writing tips with lots of good examples. It even has an integrated mini-workshop for each tip listed. But what it is lacking is the humanity and the warmth of Zissners On Writing Well. In one chapter ' Special Effects ' it becomes obvious since many of the "tools" the author offers here can easily be misused for what Zissner calls "Journalese" ' that is a pretentious writing-style. Nevertheless a good reference book.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  169 Rezensionen
213 von 220 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "Demystifying the act of writing." 4. Januar 2007
Von E. Bukowsky - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Roy Peter Clark invites aspiring writers "to imagine the act of writing less as a special talent and more as a purposeful craft." In his "Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer," Clark urges the reader to "think of writing as carpentry, and consider this book your toolbox." The goal is to take away the fright and nausea that accompanies writer's block, and to make every writer more proficient at expressing himself.

Clark divides his book into four sections: "Nuts and Bolts," "Special Effects," "Blueprints," and "Useful Habits." Within these divisions, the author clearly and concisely presents his tools; he also includes excerpts from the works of outstanding writers to illustrate each point. For instance, Tool 22 is "Climb up and down the ladder of abstraction." The writer should know when to use concrete examples and when to reach for "higher meaning." Avoid the treacherous middle rungs of the ladder where "bureaucracy and technocracy lurk," and where euphemisms and meaningless phrases abound. Clark cites Updike and a baseball writer named Thomas Boswell to show the reader how it's done. Tool 38 exhorts us to "Prefer archetypes to stereotypes." We should beware of heavy-handed symbols and strive for subtlety. Although it is tempting to fall back on familiar phrases and well-worn ideas, a writer should aspire to cultivate his own distinctive voice. To get his message across, Clark cites a passage from James Joyce's tale "The Dead." Each tool is followed by a "workshop," with several practice exercises.

Some of the tools mentioned in this book are far from unique--most writing handbooks encourage us to make every word count and vary sentence length--but there are a few noteworthy tips that stand out. For example, Clark discusses how to "establish a pattern, then give it a twist," and how to "mix narrative modes" using the broken line technique. A clever writer knows when to move his lens back to broaden his perspective and when to zoom in for a close-up on his subject.

There is no shortage of excellent books on the art of writing. Along with "On Writing Well," by William Zinsser, and Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style," I recommend "Spunk and Bite," by Arthur Plotnik, "How Not to Write," by Wiliam Safire, and "A Dash of Style," by Noah Lukeman. All of these guides, as well as Roy Peter Clark's "Writing Tools," take some of the mystery out of writing and make it a craft accessible to all.
103 von 105 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Baking better prose 6. Februar 2007
Von A. Leary - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Maybe the best way for me to describe Roy Clark's Writing Tools 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer is to use the following analogy: I can bake good brownies. Not the world's best brownies, but they get the job done - brownie-wise, that is. I'd like to make better brownies, but I'm not sure what I should do differently. Better cocoa? Smaller pan? More butter? I never know what to change, so I just keep making the same mediocre brownies. The same applies to my writing. I know it could be better - I just can't figure out how to change it.

Enter Mr. Clark's wise and wonderful book, Writing Tools 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, and suddenly I've got a myriad of new ideas! Clark gives struggling and aspiring writers a neatly organized "toolbox" full of models, practices, examples, and "what-not-to-dos." Conveniently arranged into four sections, each portion of the book addresses different spheres of writing. The first, "Nuts and Bolts" concentrates on the building blocks of writing - the words, sentences and paragraphs. I found there to be an arithmetic quality to this first section, almost as if Clark was imparting the equations and theorems of good writing.

Toolbox number two, "Special Effects," delves into the less concrete world of how we use language. He identifies it as "tools of economy, clarity, originality and persuasion." In this section he explores all of the tools, or devices a writer can use to help the writer shape his or her authentic voice.

"Blueprints," the title of the third toolbox discusses the structure of stories and reports. If a writer intends to take his readers on a path of discovery, enlightenment and wonder then the writer must be able to construct a trail that is enticing, engaging and well-lit. The tools of this third section discuss different kinds of narratives, foreshadowing and the dreaded "outline."

The final section, "Useful Habits" is generous and supportive therapy for the would-be writer. With sage and gentle advice, Clarke reassures us that we are not alone in our bad habits, urges us to learn from our critics and challenges us to "own the tools of our craft."

A special note: Don't miss either the afterword or the dedication. And if you don't know who Donald Murray was, find out. It can only help your writing.
85 von 96 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A new guide for an old craft 2. September 2006
Von Ron Franscell, Author of 'The Darkest Night' - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I am both a newspaperman and and an author. I have followed Roy Peter Clark's teachings for many years, so when this book came along -- comprising many of Clark's extraordinary Poynter essays -- I snapped it up, and am glad I did.

Clark is a clear writer who doesn't clutter your thinking with 50-cent words and two-dollar concepts. He's plain-spoken and real, and his advice can be lifted off his page and immediately applied to yours. He gives you the tools.

This is a must-read for anyone who wants to tell a story better. Not just a newspaper article -- any kind of story. And not just young, wannabe writers-in-training. There's plenty in this book with which veteran storytellers can hone their skills.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful! 14. September 2006
Von Armchair Interviews - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Roy Peter Clark's Writing Tools is to authors and journalists what Home Depot is to construction workers. Clark gives writers a fully stocked shed of clear, concise tips, strategies and guidelines to instantly help improve anyone's writing.

The material contained in the 250-page book is timeless. It can be used in the moment to help refresh a current work. Or, it can be perused for concepts to try and exploit in future work, to give authors refreshing ideas on how to write more effectively.

The book is organized into four parts: Nuts and Bolts, Special Effects, Blueprints, and Useful Habits. Nuts and Bolts are low-level tools to improve word choice, sentence structure, paragraph layout and editing strategies. The part on Special Effects contains tips on how to use language for imaging, pacing and emphasis, to list a few of the tools.

Blueprints moves to higher ground detailing how to plan a work, how to write dialog, and how to generate suspense like Dan Brown. The final part, Useful Habits, gives some ideas for project motivation and execution, to help writers get their art from brain to paper.

Clark did not develop all of these tools, and he admits that right up front. He uses dozens of references to give readers a sense that some tools are weathered advice, like lectures offered by a sage. But what he does well is put a good spin on the lectures. Anecdotes are provided alongside examples of the tools, and a humor is injected to help keep the book entertaining.

The end of the book is reminiscent of a textbook, in a good way. It has a detailed index to help readers locate topics of interest, and it has a handy five-page summary of the different tools. It's too bad the summary didn't come as a pullout poster, because many writers would surely tack it on the wall above their monitors.

Armchair Interviews: Another good book to help writers be better writers.
24 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Very good, BUT... 3. Juli 2008
Von B. Miller - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book delivers. I've authored 4 books and learned much here that i wish i had known for the 4 of them! Great tips are spelled out simply and quickly (each chapter is a very quick read). The book is filled with examples both quoted and sometimes even placed (cleverly) within the text. Those times make the book fun to read--you can sense the authors wicked smile as he stuck those gems in.

So why 4 stars? A dozen or more of the 50 tools did not apply to my kind of writing. Despite the back cover and the introduction that claim the book is for any writer, it clearly has a heavy slant towards fiction writers and news reporters. Most the examples are theirs. Sadly, even in chapters where the point is universal, most of the examples are still theirs. There are many chapters (tools) that dont seem to apply to technical and other non-fiction situations: "Use dialogue as a form of action" and "write from different cinematic angles" and "pay attention to names" to name a few.

Any writer WILL gain a lot from this book, it's just that some will get much more out of it (and i guess i resented being "sold" that it applied to all writers equally when it really doesnt).
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