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

Roy Peter Clark
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Book Description

One of America's most influential writing teachers offers a toolbox from which writers of all kinds can draw practical inspiration.

"Writing is a craft you can learn," says Roy Peter Clark. "You need tools, not rules." His book distills decades of experience into 50 tools that will help any writer become more fluent and effective.

WRITING TOOLS covers everything from the most basic ("Tool 5: Watch those adverbs") to the more complex ("Tool 34: Turn your notebook into a camera") and provides more than 200 examples from literature and journalism to illustrate the concepts. For students, aspiring novelists, and writers of memos, e-mails, PowerPoint presentations, and love letters, here are 50 indispensable, memorable, and usable tools.

"Pull out a favorite novel or short story, and read it with the guidance of Clark's ideas. . . . Readers will find new worlds in familiar places. And writers will be inspired to pick up their pens." -Boston Globe

"For all the aspiring writers out there-whether you're writing a novel or a technical report-a respected scholar pulls back the curtain on the art." -Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"This is a useful tool for writers at all levels of experience, and it's entertainingly written, with plenty of helpful examples." -Booklist

Product Description


'Wrtiers will be inspired'

Book Description

Tools Not Rules': here are 50 essential ones that writers of all kinds can use every day.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 721 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (10 Jan. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FOR2L4W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,262 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Reading and Writing Work 10 Jun. 2011
By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER
Roy Peter Clark lays out 50 of his writing tools and invites us to borrow them for our own writing toolboxes. Each writing tool is presented in a brief chapter that explains the strategy, offers examples, and ends with practice exercises. Clark reminds us that these are tools, not rules. We should work with a few of them at a time to improve our written work and our writing process. The 50 tools are grouped into four sections.

In "Nuts and Bolts," Clark covers writing basics. There are no tedious specifications for comma placement or hyphenation. Instead there are effective techniques for using language "at the word, sentence and paragraph levels." These ten tools include "Establish a pattern, then give it a twist," which shows how repetition can set the reader's expectations. And how occasionally breaking the pattern highlights information and maintains interest. Another chapter, "Cut big, then small" discusses the painful task of revising by removing. Snip and cry, but snip.

"Part Two: Special Effects" demonstrates techniques of "economy, clarity, originality, and persuasion." The thirteen tips in this section include "Set the pace with sentence length" which shows how to influence the psychological "speed" at which a reader moves through text. "Get the name of the dog" emphasizes collecting concrete details as we do research. They allow us to move down the ladder of abstraction and bring life to descriptive writing.

In Part Three: Blueprints," Clark advocates organizing our writing process as well as our documents. Two of the best tools among these sixteen show how to encourage--and manage --readers' progress. "To generate suspense, use internal cliffhangers" and whet the reading appetite with not-yet-complete information.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars after just one chapter! 13 Sept. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've only read one chapter of this so far but the rest of the whole book could be a complete pile of pants and it would still deserve 5* for what I've already learned, so I'm not waiting, I'm writing my review now!

I've read a lot of books about writing and have found that a lot of them repeat the same material, with maybe a few nuggets that aren't in the others. This one was straight out the gate with something that has had me thinking about it non-stop since I read it and I don't want to continue with the book until I've really examined it. It's Tool 1: "Begin sentences with subjects and verbs" and it explains how strong sentences start with the main subject and its verb at or near the beginning of the sentence, like I have in this review ("I've", "I've", "This one was", "It's"). Once you start looking at that in other people's writing and analysing your own, it's an eye-opener. To me, it was worth the price of the book just for that. Can't wait to read the rest (but I'll have to, I'm still thinking about the first chapter!).

UODATE: I'm on Chapter/Tool 11 after a couple of weeks now and I'm still delighted with this book. So many interesting things, and a whole stage up from other books on writing. It's refreshing to read something that feels a bit more advanced and it's also a very easy read. Very highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this! 23 Aug. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is written with any writer in mind. It is not dictating what you have to do in order to write successfully, but it suggests ways of exploring wwords, phrases and your writing as a whole. It encourages you to think about the smallest thing not just the bigger picture because within that bigger picture are so many wonderful words and tools you can use to heighten the experience for the reader.
He provides so many examples from literature and even little excercises to try out so you can see the 'tool' in action. I highly recommend this to any writer who is doubting their work. You'll realise that a lot of these you do automatically and that will give you a boost. It will also make you think about things you never have before and once you've read that 'tool' you'll start noticing examples of it when you're reading and writing yourself. And it gives you greater clarity to understand your own writing as well as that of others.
It was recommended to me and I recommend it to you. See what tools can help you improve your writing and your confidence to know you are on the right lines. Awesome book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice 11 Feb. 2012
I read this book from cover to cover when I first got it - because it's so well written. I still refer to it often. If you want to improve your written style, this gives you both a mechanics and philosophy for how to do so.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this first!!!! 11 Jan. 2012
By Liv
I have several books on creative writing and editing, and although all are good, this outshines the others. Buy this first. It is well written, clear and very informative. A really good read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb tool for writers 5 Feb. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came to this book via Roy's audio programmes on iTunes U (which are also excellent, and free to download). I had never heard of him before, but was so impressed by the extracts that I bought the book - which is even better. Very accessible, yet not at all superficial, each tool is illustrated by hit-the-mark examples. A practical guide that will improve any writer's work, at any level or genre - I know it has improved mine. Highly recommended.

This review is by David Williams writerinthenorth
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, clear examples, good exercises to try
This book contains strategies for both novice and experienced writers, and the ideas are applicable to both short and long fiction, from articles to novels. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Deborah Swift
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine quality tools.
Writing Tools makes transparent the (sometimes subconscious) strategies of the best writers and authors, and teaches you what to look for in your own work. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Janine G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was a gift for a friend, it seems okay.
Published 2 months ago by Judy Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must for everyone looking to improve their narration.
Published 3 months ago by sorabh sharma
5.0 out of 5 stars The best writing guide I've read.
This is an excellent manual for established and would-be writers alike. Peter Clark guides the reader through a logically sequenced series of succinct chapters, explaining the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ken Nixon
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for budding writers
A great book for any writer. You can find versions of this online, but this edition is comprehensive and still incredibly cheap and worth the investment.
Published 5 months ago by Alex Quigley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic must have book
Published 5 months ago by Derek Ashford
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for those who need to make sure their writing ...
clear, concise and very practical guide. It makes a dry subject engaging and is very practically focused. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sally
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 brilliant nuggets
I really enjoyed this and it inspired me to do some more writing. I've passed it on to our English dept at school as I'm sure they can make use of the tips (and the examples from... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent!
A practical, accessible, thorough guide to the craft of writing. I teach English and was already using ideas from Clark before I'd finished his book.
Published 11 months ago by serginhowardinho
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