Friday, September 23, 2011

Review - Help! for Writers by Roy Peter Clark

AUTHOR:    Roy Peter Clark
INFO:    Paperback,Non-Fiction, 276 pages
PUBLISHED:   Little, Brown, 2011
SOURCE:   Received from Publisher for Review

 The craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head. 

In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 210 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem. Out of ideas? Read posters, billboards, and graffiti. Can't bear to edit yourself? Watch the deleted scenes feature of a DVD, and ask yourself why those scenes were left on the cutting-room floor. HELP! FOR WRITERS offers 210 strategies to guide writers to success.

MY TAKE:    I have always tinkered with my writing and seem to gravitate to books and classes that aid me in that pursuit.  Back in October of 2010 I had the privilege of reviewing Mr. Clark's book The Glamour of Grammar.  His newest offering is another book that will be residing next to that one on my bookshelf for years to come.

Roy Peter Clark's writing style is very easy for the reader to comprehend as well as enjoy.  As in the previous book, he breaks the material down into bite-size chunks that the would-be writer ~ or experienced author, can easily digest.  His manner and delivery are both entertaining and educational.  I found myself laughing at some points and taking copious notes at others. His comments and observations sparked several ideas that I had to jot down immediately. The book is presented in logical order taking you through seven simple steps of the writing journey. The author wraps it up with a list of 25 of his favorite writing books.  I found this to be yet another helpful resource from him.

In the post I wrote about my meeting with Diana Gabaldon, I noted that she told all of us that we don't have to write in a straight line from A-Z or start to finish.  You can write chapter 12 before you write chapter 3.  Go ahead and create the ending before the beginning...  Roy Peter Clark has reinforced that permission and "ah-ha" moment with this book.  In the section on "Getting Your Act Together", he shares several techniques to keep your written inventory organized.  With wall boards, index cards and many, many more tricks of the trade, Mr. Clark helps the writer keep it all straight. 

The book's opening line instructs the reader to consider Help! for Writers an owner's manual for their writing process.  I think this is a very apt statement as I have already found myself referring back to the book more than once as I work on a project.  I have a feeling that this will quickly become one of my "go-to" references when I come across a roadblock or just need a refresher.

I definitely recommend this book to writers, would-be writers and students.  It will become a staple on many home library reference shelves.  

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

Treat yourself to a copy:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryBarnes & Noble

Join me a bit later as I welcome Roy Peter Clark to One Book Shy to share his thoughts on challenges facing today's writers.  Plus there just might be a GIVEAWAY........

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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