This book is a valuable tool for any writer, and I have been recommending it to all my students here at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Teachers, especially those who work with beginning creative writers in a community setting, will find the incredible exercises listed at the end of each chapter invaluable. I find myself asking, why didn't I think of that one? The examples she uses to illustrate her comments on using all five senses are drawn from the classics and from contemporary sources, all chosen for Virginia Woolf's "common reader." The language is very readable and approachable; and the charm and enthusiasm of the writer comes through. This is the best teaching tool I have bought in years.
Word Painting is the ideal title for this book. The author shows you how to bring all of the senses into your writing to make it become a palpable living entity. You'll learn how to "penetrate layers of the reader's consciousnness, blasting right through his neocortex and into the mammalian and reptilian brain". Your writing will never be the same after you do the practice exercises in this book. Get it. -Linda Fry Kenzle, author of Pages
This is one of the best books on improving your writing skills. Ms. McClanahan's writing style is inviting and reassuring. Both beginners and experienced writers will benefit from her instruction on how adding descriptive elements will enrich the reading experience for our target audience and make us better writers.
This book has been a godsend to me. It's been enormously helpful in doing the final edit of my novel. Reading it made me feel like I had my own personal editor. The conversational tone of the book is inviting, nurturing, and encouraging. Any discussion of point of view usually makes me groan, but the way Rebecca McClanahan writes about it is exceptionally sane, enthralling even. The author is a master teacher, writer, and reader. Rebecca McClanahan is generous in sharing the secrets of her fine craft. This book would be fabulous for intermediate to advanced writers to read at least once a year to help keep the pencil sharp. The writing exercises are provocative and creative. This book showed me many things I would never have learned on my own. It made me want to be a better writer.
Having trouble with a writing assignment ("describe a place using vivid imagery"), I found this book. It's great and helped me paint the picture in words. Result: compliments on my simplicity, clarity, and vivid descriptions.
My writing changed after I finished this book. This book deals with description like no other. The exercises at the end of each chapter helps immensely and makes all the difference. A must for all writers.
Toward More Picturesque Language Just as all boats rise with the tide, Ms. McClanahan's book, Word Painting, has the power to elevate the writing process for all those who would apply her insight and skillful direction. I intend to have it at my elbow as I write. It is a valuable resource - not only for me, but I will be happy to pass its precepts on to my students.