- Gebundene Ausgabe: 272 Seiten
- Verlag: Little, Brown and Company (27. August 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0316204358
- ISBN-13: 978-0316204354
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,6 x 2,5 x 22,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 140.731 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 27. August 2013
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"Roy Peter Clark has compressed a lifetime of learning and love of language into How to Write Short. An engaging, entertaining, indispensable guide to the art and craft of concision."
--James Geary, author of The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism and I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World
"We're writing more than ever before, all of us, on screens big and small, and the pressure is on to make our characters count. In this book, Roy Peter Clark show us how, and more importantly, why it's worth the effort. How to Write Short is both a deeply practical guidebook and an annotated collection of concise gems from some of the world's greatest writers and journalists, not one of them longer than 300 words. Roy's message is clear: great writing is a matter of craft, not word count. How to Write Short will make you a better writer at any length."
--Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
"How to Write Short both instructs and delights, in equal measure. On every page there is some useful advice and an amusing observation or illustration. Roy Peter Clark's many fans know that (extremely) diverse examples are one of his specialties, and this book doesn't disappoint. Open it up at random and you'll find quotes from Oscar Wilde, Steven Wright, Dorothy Parker, and Gypsy Rose Lee. And that's just one page! Read this book!"
--Ben Yagoda, author of When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It and How to Not Write Bad (forthcoming 2/2013)
"How to Write Short comes at the perfect time and enshrines Roy Peter Clark as America's best writing coach. Who else could masterfully tease the secrets of short, powerful writing from unexpected sources -- the Bible, Shakespeare, Tom Petty, and Abe Lincoln? This book should be on every serious writer's shelf." --Ben Montgomery, staff writer, Tampa Bay Times
"A fun, practical guide to writing little from a guy who's written a lot. Respected journalist and writing teacher Roy Peter Clark really knows his way around a sentence. Learn from him." --Christopher Johnson, author of Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little
America's most influential writing teacher offers an engaging and practical guide to effective short-form writing. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Clark writes his advice in 35 short reflections organized into two sections: "How to Write Short" and "How to Write Short with a Purpose". He caps these sections off with an epilog: "A Few Final Words--441 to Be Exact".
Clark's first reflection focuses on getting you to open your eyes. In a world inundated with data in the form of writing, images, and sounds, what catches your attention? Coyly, Clark paraphrases the line from Sixth Sense. Not, "I see dead people", but "I see short writing"(15). Clark collects shorts like other people collect sidewalk pennies. In reviewing the sparse style of these shorts, he draws attention to the backstory that makes them interesting. Shorts sparkle because they remind you of something. A "grace note", Clark adds, increases the sparkle by reframing the sparkle in a new, interesting way. Or it may just offer a jolt (17-21).
I did not expect a writing book to be a page turner. I did not expect How to Write Short would get me to look at my long writing differently. I do expect that I will be referring back to this book in my book's next edit. Yeah!
-- "But here is the key: whether the writing is formal or informal, whether it appears as a tome or a paragraph, the writer has the duty to perfect, polish, and revise, even if that work needs to be done in a minute or less."
-- "In studying thousands of examples of short writing, old and new, I've been amazed at how many of the most memorable depend on parallelism (with variation) to work their magic."
-- "There is no right answer, except for this: A good short writer must be a disciplined cutter, not just of clutter, but of language that would be useful if she had more space. How, what, and when to cut in the interest of brevity, focus, and precision must preoccupy the mind of every good short writer."
Short writing is often overlooked for its novel-length counterpart. After all, tweets don’t win Nobel Prizes–at least, not yet. But short writing has value. And an aspiring writer can learn from every kind of writing, Clark says. Like the back of cereal boxes, or OKCupid profiles, or–my fave–fortune cookies.
For those quick to say texting, tweeting, and other short writing is ruining our language, we went through this recently with telegrams and turned out ok. People were charged by the word, so abbreviations and crafty cutting were the norm. And now we’re doing it again–but digitally in tweets and emails. (I used to scoff, but now I’ve embraced abbreviations. They can be useful, especially in a tweet, and they can also be sort of hilar.)
Some short writing is both storytelling and communication. After all, letters tell a story. Clark says early novels used letters to tell important parts of the tale. I just finished Where’d You Go Bernadette, composed almost entirely in messages–updated with emails and faxes, of course. Our current family book club book House of Leaves is made up of documents and journal entries. These long stories are told through short writing, just like much of our own life.
My friends and I have an ongoing group text. That communication, made up of bursts of texts, abbreviations and inside jokes, tells a beautiful story. Clark’s more serious example is of mom and daughter texting during a shooting. Those texts kept a family in touch, helped a girl stay safe, and later told a story to us with much more directness and immediacy than 30,000 of the killer’s own words from his manifesto.
Clark also talks about the newsworthiness of Twitter. Short, to the point, continuous updates can place us directly in a story. His example comes from tweets on the ground after an earthquake. An example in my own life comes from Hurricane Sandy. I learned so much more about what neighborhoods were safe and where damage occurred than I could have from more traditional (and longer) news sources. Tweets like “just saw the lights go out on Water St.” (a made up example based on a real event) are just a few words long but communicate critical information.
You don’t need a lot of words to create a powerful piece of writing. In fact there’s a genre of stories only six words long. You may remember Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” which I love not only for its emotional impact but also its clever use of punctuation. Larry Smith, editor and publisher of SMITH Magazine and founder of Six-Word Memoirs, championed these short stories. I think mine would be “Girl with plan finds new adventure.” (A close second was “Left-handed editor who writes alright.”)
To me, the why of writing matters much more than the length. Long or short–and long writing sprouts from short writing after all–good storytelling matters. Communication matters. Ideas matter. And all can be told with just a few words.
If you put written content on the internet, or do so for a company or even if you send emails - which probably includes all of us - do yourself a favor and read this book.
Roy Peter Clark has done it again. You have to be a gifted writer to make writing about writing interesting and Clark doesn’t disappoint.
How to Write Short highlights 35 tools to improve your short-form writing. Along with helpful exercises and examples, Clark shows mastery of his craft by including useful references from Shakespeare to online dating profiles.
Clark is instructive while at the same time funny. He is both observational and motivational.
His ultimate accomplishment is getting us to believe that writing short has basic rules to follow and when learned and practiced can make anyone a wordsmith from 140 characters and up.