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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 mo 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


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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 mo 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

30 review for Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jay Cruz

    Before Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer became an actual book, the tools were a series of blog posts Roy Peter Clark wrote over at Poynter.org. The version I've read were those original 50 blog posts collected in PDF form. You can find all the original collected posts here and if you want to you can download the PDF from my Dropbox folder here. From what you can see on the actual book's table of contents there are some differences from the the names of the tools and how it Before Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer became an actual book, the tools were a series of blog posts Roy Peter Clark wrote over at Poynter.org. The version I've read were those original 50 blog posts collected in PDF form. You can find all the original collected posts here and if you want to you can download the PDF from my Dropbox folder here. From what you can see on the actual book's table of contents there are some differences from the the names of the tools and how it's divided by parts, but it's still the same basic 50 tips. It takes you from the basics of grammar, to the more advance story telling techniques like "saving string" and "foreshadowing". It's a writing exercise book. Every tool ends with a "Workbench" section which are a series of suggestions to practice what you just learned. I highly recommend it if you want to improve your writing. Here's a great review from Snarkmarket if you still need more convincing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    morning Os

    I am an international student who had never been surrounded by native English speakers until the age of 22. I ended up studying humanities in an American phd program. Imagine how stressful writing is for someone like me. I have been struggling to acquire the instinct and intuition you guys have when you judge "good" and "bad" writings. This book is helping me a lot understand, step by step, what constitutes good English sentences, paragraphs and chapters. The examples are brilliant. They not onl I am an international student who had never been surrounded by native English speakers until the age of 22. I ended up studying humanities in an American phd program. Imagine how stressful writing is for someone like me. I have been struggling to acquire the instinct and intuition you guys have when you judge "good" and "bad" writings. This book is helping me a lot understand, step by step, what constitutes good English sentences, paragraphs and chapters. The examples are brilliant. They not only show what good sentences look like, but also let you experience the thinking process of editors.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    This was a very fine book on writing. Some really shrewd wisdom in this thing. One of my favorites is this: Choose words the average writer avoids but the average reader understands. Rarely used words are not the same thing as unknown words.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Highly recommend for anyone who wants inspiration & splendidly helpful tools for polishing your writing! It even has sections for dealing with that nagging critic in our heads and how to handle negative criticism from others. "The receptive writer must convert debate into conversation. A debate ends with a winner and a loser. A conversation can conclude with both sides learning, and a promise of more good talk to come." Highly recommend for anyone who wants inspiration & splendidly helpful tools for polishing your writing! It even has sections for dealing with that nagging critic in our heads and how to handle negative criticism from others. "The receptive writer must convert debate into conversation. A debate ends with a winner and a loser. A conversation can conclude with both sides learning, and a promise of more good talk to come."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    What is the book about? "Think of writing as carpentry, and consider this book your toolbox. You can borrow a writing tool at any time" Cool. How should I use these tools? "Do not try to apply these tools all at once" What's the best tool of them all? "The most powerful tool on your workbench is oral reading" So these tools will make me sound smarter? "The writer cannot make something clear until the difficult subject is clear in the writer's head. Then, and only then, does she reach into the writer' What is the book about? "Think of writing as carpentry, and consider this book your toolbox. You can borrow a writing tool at any time" Cool. How should I use these tools? "Do not try to apply these tools all at once" What's the best tool of them all? "The most powerful tool on your workbench is oral reading" So these tools will make me sound smarter? "The writer cannot make something clear until the difficult subject is clear in the writer's head. Then, and only then, does she reach into the writer's toolbox" All these tools. They feel like rules. Every time I write I'm afraid of doing something wrong? "It's easy to write. You just shouldn't have standards that inhibit your writing" But isn't this book about rules? "Remember, these are tools, not rules. They work outside the territory of right and wrong" OK. I want to write, where do I begin? "The writer conceives an idea, collects things to support it, discovers what the work is really about, attempts a first draft, and revises in the quest for greater clarity" "Sniff. Explore. Collect. Focus. Select. Order. Draft. Revise." Where do I get my ideas from? "Good questions drive good stories" What is the difference writing and revising? "Writing is rewriting" "Quality comes from revision, not from speed writing" "The purpose is not to create a draft, but to build momentum" "So there you have them: a shiny new set of writing tools and a workbench on which to store them. Use them well" As the title states, in this book you will find 50 writing tools. They are divided into four sections: Nuts and Bolts (word, sentence, and paragraph)... Special Effects (economy, clarity, originality, and persuasion)... Blueprints (organization, story building, and reports)... and Useful Habits (productive writing). I'm curious about writing. About the magic of it. How do they make their words sound so smooth? I want to know the inner mechanics. Is it a science or an art? Can I actually learn to write like the authors I love? I've always struggled with writing. My words always seems so boring, technical. Can I become a better writer? Yes. Life has taught us that to improve any learned skill we need the right information and enough practice. Reading this book felt like I was reading a book of secrets. Why didn't they teach us this in college? I recently read The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well. Combined with this book, I really feel like my writing has improved. Granted, I need ample more practice, but writing feels easier. This book was well worth my time and money. Great author. Great tools. Highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J.L.

    This book is essential reading for every beginning writer. Roy Clark provides the writer fifty tools with which to improve her craft. The chapters are short, informative, and funny and written in a style to illustrate a particular tool. He also provides brief exercises at the end of each chapter—not just writing, but cool exercises like observing people—to spur your thinking or to help increase your understanding. The passage that resonated with me was his advice to not implement everything in t This book is essential reading for every beginning writer. Roy Clark provides the writer fifty tools with which to improve her craft. The chapters are short, informative, and funny and written in a style to illustrate a particular tool. He also provides brief exercises at the end of each chapter—not just writing, but cool exercises like observing people—to spur your thinking or to help increase your understanding. The passage that resonated with me was his advice to not implement everything in this book all at once; he used the analogy of a golfer trying to incorporate all the advice he receives into a single swing. It will drive you crazy. I recommend this book for every writer’s tool box (I would have added “highly” before “recommend,” but I no longer use adverbs).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karsten

    Clark's book is about more about style than content or correctness. And the 50 strategies are so practical, readable, entertaining, and genuinely helpful that writing with “style” becomes just as substantial and reachable a goal as writing good content with correctness. That's fantastic. The book gets the fifth star, though, for its outstanding structure/organization. Clark has built this book like a fractal image: Its pattern and value is the same from far as from near, and it’ll make you a bett Clark's book is about more about style than content or correctness. And the 50 strategies are so practical, readable, entertaining, and genuinely helpful that writing with “style” becomes just as substantial and reachable a goal as writing good content with correctness. That's fantastic. The book gets the fifth star, though, for its outstanding structure/organization. Clark has built this book like a fractal image: Its pattern and value is the same from far as from near, and it’ll make you a better writer in 50 ways, no matter how closely you examine it: It takes *5 minutes* to read the table of contents—each item of which is a complete piece of instruction. (“Begin sentences with subjects and verbs”… “Cut big, then small”… “Seek original images”… “Build your work around a key question”… Turn procrastination into rehearsal”) Double the value by flipping through and reading each chapter’s subtitle, too (*15 minutes*). (“Watch those adverbs: Use them to change the meaning of the verb”… “Let punctuation control pace and space: Learn the rules, but realize you have more options than you think”… “Learn the difference between reports and stories: Use one to render information, the other to render experience”) If you have *a couple of hours*, read through the first few paragraphs of each chapter. Clark explains each strategy and includes one or two examples right up front. If you have *a couple of weeks*, read the entire book, three or four chapters a day. Each chapter builds from explanation and example to a fuller discussion of the importance and effects that using each strategy has. And if you have *several months*, dive into the workshop ideas at the end of each chapter. These are tremendously balanced—between prompts to reflect and to act, between analysis of others’ writing and my own, between my past writing, and my present and future writing; between simple/brief activities and complex/time-consuming ones. Not every workshop activity seems equally fruitful to me (how could they?), but there will be something productive here for any writer at any time. This is the kind of writing book I’d buy to send off to college with my kids, regardless of their majors.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    An outstanding book for anyone who writes or wants to be a writer. I attended two seminars put on by the author at the Tucson Festival of Books, and new immediately I had to have this book. It's broken down into four parts...Nuts and Bolts; Special Effects; Blueprints; and Useful Habits. From the 4 subtitles, you can see it goes beyond just good grammar and proper usage. It is designed to not only help your writing, but improve your writing habits and give you new ways to think about your writing An outstanding book for anyone who writes or wants to be a writer. I attended two seminars put on by the author at the Tucson Festival of Books, and new immediately I had to have this book. It's broken down into four parts...Nuts and Bolts; Special Effects; Blueprints; and Useful Habits. From the 4 subtitles, you can see it goes beyond just good grammar and proper usage. It is designed to not only help your writing, but improve your writing habits and give you new ways to think about your writing. I found I was doing some things right, some things wrong, and somethings right that I didn't know I was doing right. As a writer who also edits for other people, this book is invaluable. I recommend it highly, along with William Zinzer's "Writing Well," and NAtalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Orlopp

    Roy Peter Clark does a phenomenal job breaking down the techniques of writing into 50 key strategies. He provides literary examples to demonstrate the techniques and closes each chapter with practical suggestions. Each chapter is bite-size, snackable content that got my writing wheels turning. The headers and taglines are memorable and I found myself writing notes in the margin and highlighting a lot of the book. Clark's analogies stand out---comma is a speed bump; semi-colon is a rolling stop; co Roy Peter Clark does a phenomenal job breaking down the techniques of writing into 50 key strategies. He provides literary examples to demonstrate the techniques and closes each chapter with practical suggestions. Each chapter is bite-size, snackable content that got my writing wheels turning. The headers and taglines are memorable and I found myself writing notes in the margin and highlighting a lot of the book. Clark's analogies stand out---comma is a speed bump; semi-colon is a rolling stop; colon is a flashing yellow light, etc. The narrative line is like a train ride with occasional whistle stops. I highly recommend Writing Tools!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Darby Webb

    This book is a must-read for every aspiring writer.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marie Tankersley

    4.5/5 stars Brilliant.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bob Nichols

    This book has many good suggestions and reminders. Part One, Nuts and Bolts, and Part Two, Special Effects, are strong; the second half of the book is less so and I can't say why. The line between good writing technique and manipulation is an interesting question. Clark does not discuss this. When I read a book like this - there are many - it's really about only one type of writing. It's about how to entertain the reader. And that's why these books and the writing of those who follow their advic This book has many good suggestions and reminders. Part One, Nuts and Bolts, and Part Two, Special Effects, are strong; the second half of the book is less so and I can't say why. The line between good writing technique and manipulation is an interesting question. Clark does not discuss this. When I read a book like this - there are many - it's really about only one type of writing. It's about how to entertain the reader. And that's why these books and the writing of those who follow their advice have a good amount of sameness to them, as if they have all been to the same writing school. It's about being peppy, clever and engaging. But many times it feels as though it's the writing itself - the style of writing - that is the focus, not the content. Ironically, writing loses some freshness and originality or it becomes fine writing that means, really, nothing very much. It's a clutter of detail of this and that, largely void of potent conceptual content. Fortunately, there are many thinkers who write - where it is the thought that knocks the socks off and make it worth the reader's time to spend time with the material. Some can even pull that off with style.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    The book does what its title suggests, meticulously presents all the tactics that are often used by professional and savvy writers. With a succinct and informative table of contents, this book can serve as a dictionary of writing, readers can locate what tactics they are interested in, explore it without reading the book cover to cover ( although the book is good enough for you to do so). Introducing from the basic knowledge of sentence structure to the board field of writers' habits, the author The book does what its title suggests, meticulously presents all the tactics that are often used by professional and savvy writers. With a succinct and informative table of contents, this book can serve as a dictionary of writing, readers can locate what tactics they are interested in, explore it without reading the book cover to cover ( although the book is good enough for you to do so). Introducing from the basic knowledge of sentence structure to the board field of writers' habits, the author unveiled the mystery of writing and eased the anxiety of fellow writers step by step.      For the sake of giving examples, so many of well-known writers and their works had been introduced and quoted in this book to explain and show how to employ a particular tactic. So through this less than 300 pages book, I'd ended up being inspired by over several dozen of great writers and their works, many of which I have never heard of but could have loved. Readers who are not keen about writing tactics but having headache about what to read could get as much as use out of reading this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    N

    I've read so many books about writing that I'm inevitably jaded anytime I pick up a new one. Well, I'm pleased to say that the rather generically-titled Writing Tools knocked out all my expectations. It's a bit bloody good. Admittedly, this is because it acts as a cliff's notes version of manymany other writing books. Roy Peter Clark swipes the best advice from Natalie Goldberg, Dorothea Brand, John Gardner et al, and boils down their wisdom into short, snappy articles. This is a great book to re I've read so many books about writing that I'm inevitably jaded anytime I pick up a new one. Well, I'm pleased to say that the rather generically-titled Writing Tools knocked out all my expectations. It's a bit bloody good. Admittedly, this is because it acts as a cliff's notes version of manymany other writing books. Roy Peter Clark swipes the best advice from Natalie Goldberg, Dorothea Brand, John Gardner et al, and boils down their wisdom into short, snappy articles. This is a great book to read piecemeal. Over the summer (oh, so long ago now!), I'd take it with me to the park, read a few pages, mull it over, then read a few more. Perhaps my favourite thing about Writing Tools is how applicable it is to ALL types of writing. Clark really drills down into structure and the mechanics of prose, but it's never a book that feels picky or pretentious. Even though I've read myriad (fiction) writing books, I'll often struggle to think of books to recommend to friends who don't write fiction but still want to write better. Hey! Guys! *waves arms* Read this one!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sotiris Makrygiannis

    A nice book, full with 50 techniques on how to write a book. Nice!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mario the lone bookwolf

    Numerous useful utensils and advice for the conception, rough drawing and fine-tuning of creative works Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested. Precise, compact and refined with an adequately equal chapter length, Clark delivers a well-filled tool case with tools for big and small projects. Whether for non-specialists, hobbyists or contemporaries who have turned their passion into a profession. Any likely target group can learn s Numerous useful utensils and advice for the conception, rough drawing and fine-tuning of creative works Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested. Precise, compact and refined with an adequately equal chapter length, Clark delivers a well-filled tool case with tools for big and small projects. Whether for non-specialists, hobbyists or contemporaries who have turned their passion into a profession. Any likely target group can learn something new from the author's wealth of experience and work on their professionalism. One of the most valuable pieces of advice is hidden in the author's comments between the lines. Many stylistic tricks and gimmicks Clark recognized himself after a sometimes long time, as he became aware of how authors create tension and atmosphere individually. As soon as he became aware of such an instrument, he adapted it for his interests and added it to his collection of writing skills. Where the search for your own, preferred writing utensils in this style can prove challenging. For thanks to the uniqueness of each, the usefulness of the methods discovered for themselves is very different. It is therefore not possible to search for ways tailored to one's own needs, to experiment and to choose only the fillets. Otherwise, they can not be applied as adapted to a broad audience, as in guides. The tools are not explained cumbersome, but with the focus on practical relevance applied as quickly as possible to give the reader concrete examples. In doing so, Clark uses examples from different authors and animates them with exercises after the presentation of each tool for a possible deepening of the theory. Entirely in the spirit of learning through independent testing against dogmatics and frontal teaching techniques. Not only is it emphasized how it is written, but the focus is also placed on the effect to be achieved. One recognizes readily and partly solely by practical examples, which stylistic device has a positive or negative impact of what has been written. An excellent way to learn to keep the prevention of hindsight only elaborately eradicated mistakes and carvers already during the writing process as a gray eminence always on call in mind. It also offers a variety of instructions to weigh the correct dosage of stylistic devices, contrasts and voltage curves and to show what is the optimal solution in extraordinary situations. In addition to the grammatical principles that are taken for granted, many insider tips and traps are dragged into the light. The special effects convey the right use of subtle, calming techniques. To make the grand highlights of the tensions and dramaturgical peaks even more impressive. Where again, the correct, well-chosen dosage is the alpha and omega, to drift neither in boredom nor meaningless action bombast. One of many shy topics is casually taken power. The grammatical, which is often not presented by the experts who are as profiled as they are understandable and applicable, receive the appreciation. Moreover, in a way that one understands why it deserves attention. Finally detailed references to sentence structure, structure, and length, word order, quotations, the power of the unsaid and recommendations to the smallest parts of the novel. The words, their position, arrangement, effect and correct function from the desired result. It is fair to say that the breadth and depth of Clark's underlying competence make the work a fixture in the reference library of every literary contemporary. Be it the professionalization of the hobby of creative writing and professional development because of or out of a more profane motive. Alternatively, if one decides for oneself to prefer to consume with pleasure and to experience how the art is created. To be able to approach as readers of the beauty of the speech melody and power of words also from the point of view, how it comes to their emergence. Also, in the knowledge of the complexity and effort behind creating such marvels, to approach each reading with even more great awe and enthusiasm. So who knows, even from this even deeper occupation with a matter, the need arises to enter the illustrious circle of the creators themselves. Zahlreiche, nützliche Utensilien und Ratschläge für Konzeption, Grobzeichnung und Feinschliff kreativer Werke Übersichtlich, kompakt und mit der richtig ausbalancierten Kapitellänge verfeinert liefert Clark einen gut gefüllten Werkzeugkoffer mit Handwerkszeug für große und kleine Projekte. Ob für Laien, Hobbyschreiber oder Zeitgenossen, die die Leidenschaft zum Beruf gemacht haben. Jede erdenkliche Zielgruppe kann aus dem Erfahrungsschatz des Autors noch Neues lernen und an der eigenen Professionalität feilen. Einer der wertvollsten Ratschläge verbirgt sich in den Kommentaren des Autors zwischen den Zeilen. Viele stilistische Tricks und Kniffe erkannte Clark selbst erst nach mitunter langer Zeit, als ihm bewusst wurde, wie Autoren auf eine individuelle Art Spannung und Atmosphäre erzeugen. Kaum wurde er sich eines solchen Instruments gewahr, adaptierte er es für seine eigenen Belange und fügte es seiner Sammlung an Schreibkompetenzen hinzu. Wobei sich die Suche nach den eigenen, präferierten Schreibutensilien in diesem Stil als schwierig erweisen kann. Denn dank der Einzigartigkeit eines jeden Individuums ist auch die Nützlichkeit der für sich selbst entdeckten Methoden stark differierend. Man kommt daher nicht umher auf der Suche nach auf die eigenen Bedürfnisse zugeschnittenen Methoden, zu experimentieren und nur die Filetstücke zu wählen. Die lassen sich sonst nicht wie in Ratgebern auf ein breites Publikum zugeschnitten anwenden. Die Werkzeuge werden nicht umständlich erklärt, sondern mit dem Fokus auf Praxisbezogenheit schnellstmöglich angewandt, um dem Leser praktische Beispiele geben zu können. Dabei verwendet Clark Beispiele verschiedener Autoren und animiert durch Übungsmöglichkeiten nach der Vorstellung jedes Werkzeugs zur praktischen Vertiefung der Theorie. Ganz im Geiste des Lernens durch eigenständiges Ausprobieren wider Dogmatik und frontaler Unterrichtstechniken. Es wird nicht allein darauf Wert gelegt, wie geschrieben wird, sondern der Fokus auch auf die zu erzielende Wirkung gelegt. Man erkennt leicht und teilweise allein anhand der praktischen Beispiele, wie welches Stilmittel sich zum Positiven oder Negativen hin auf die Wirkung des Geschriebenen auswirkt. Eine gute Möglichkeit zu erlernen, die Prävention von im Nachhinein nur aufwendig auszubügelnden Fehlern und Schnitzern bereits während des Schreibprozesses als graue Eminenz im Hinterkopf stets auf Abruf bereit zu halten. Auch werden vielfältige Anleitungen geboten um etwa die richtige Dosierung von Stilmitteln, Kontrasten und Spannungsbögen abzuwägen und zu zeigen, was die optimale Lösung in speziellen Situationen darstellt. Neben den als selbstverständlich erachteten grammatikalischen Grundregeln verbergen sich so manche Geheimtipps und Fallen, die ins Licht gezerrt werden. Die Spezialeffekte vermitteln den richtigen Einsatz von subtilen, Ruhe erzeugenden Techniken. Um etwa die großen Höhepunkte der Spannungsbögen und dramaturgischen Spitzen noch eindrucksvoller zur Geltung kommen zu lassen. Wobei auch hier wieder die richtige, wohl gewählte Dosierung das A und O darstellt, um weder in Langeweile noch in sinnbefreiten Action-Bombast abzudriften. Einem von Vielen gescheuten Thema wird nebenbei die Macht genommen. Die oft von den noch so profilierten Experten nicht als verständlich und anwendbar darstellbare Grammatik erhält die Würdigung. Und dies in einer Form, in der man versteht, warum sie Augenmerk verdient. Endlich konkrete Hinweise zu Satzbau, -Struktur- und –Länge, Wortstellung, Zitaten, der Macht des Ungesagten und Hinweisen auf die kleinsten Teile des Romans. Der Wörter, ihrer Position, Anordnung, Wirkung und richtigen Funktion unter dem Gesichtspunkt des erwünschten Resultats. Man kann mit Fug und Recht behaupten, dass die abgedeckte Bandbreite und die dieser zugrunde liegende Kompetenz Clarks das Werk zu einem Fixpunkt in der Handbibliothek eines jeden literaturaffinen Zeitgenossen machen darf. Sei es der Professionalisierung des Hobbies des kreativen Schreibens und der beruflichen Weiterentwicklung wegen oder aus einem profaneren Motiv heraus. Oder wenn man für sich entscheidet, lieber mit Genuss zu konsumieren und erfahren möchte, wie die Kunst erschaffen wird. Um sich als Leser der Schönheit der Sprachmelodie und Wortgewalt auch unter dem Gesichtspunkt nähern zu können, wie es zu deren Entstehung kommt. Und im Wissen über die Komplexität und den Aufwand, der dahinter steckt, solch Wunderwerke zu kreieren, mit noch größerer Ehrfurcht und Begeisterung an jede Lektüre heran tritt. Und wer weiß, gar keimt aus dieser noch tieferen Beschäftigung mit der Materie das Bedürfnis selbst in den illustren Kreis der Schaffenden einzutreten.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eleni

    Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark is a comprehensive writing guide filled with fundamental and thoughtful writing strategies that are useful for every writer regardless of their age or experience. Clark has an ability to discuss best writing practices without being rigid, and his undeniable passion for the craft is infectious. Writing Tools is a book that I plan to return to time and time again when I need a reminder of what’s in my toolbox and which tools need to be sharpened.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    The best technical book on writing that I’ve read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eren Buğlalılar

    A good collection of conceptual tools for the writers. Covers a wide range from sentence lengths, word choices and paragraph structures to creating characters, forming writing habits and dealing with writer's block. More on the practical side of writing as a craft. If you are looking for a more philosophical and abstract approach on writing, I highly recommend Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. A good collection of conceptual tools for the writers. Covers a wide range from sentence lengths, word choices and paragraph structures to creating characters, forming writing habits and dealing with writer's block. More on the practical side of writing as a craft. If you are looking for a more philosophical and abstract approach on writing, I highly recommend Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Every so often in life you come across something that makes you pause and think, "Okay, this is really something. This is how it's done." Sometimes it's a movie, like The Matrix with all it's dazzling special effects, stylish art, and mysterious story. Sometimes it's a new technique like the Fosbury Flop at the 1968 Olympics, stealing the show and changing how everyone does the high jump from then on. Sometimes it's whatever you call it when you release a seminal rock album like Sgt. Pepper's an Every so often in life you come across something that makes you pause and think, "Okay, this is really something. This is how it's done." Sometimes it's a movie, like The Matrix with all it's dazzling special effects, stylish art, and mysterious story. Sometimes it's a new technique like the Fosbury Flop at the 1968 Olympics, stealing the show and changing how everyone does the high jump from then on. Sometimes it's whatever you call it when you release a seminal rock album like Sgt. Pepper's and then, as a member of the audience, watch Jimi Hendrix and company open with it two days after the album came out. Yes. But this time, it's a book on writing. And this time Roy Peter Clark shows us how it's done. I'm not a writer. Well, I do enjoy writing these reviews on Goodreads. But you know what I mean. I don't write professionally. I'm not a journalist, a poet, a screenwriter, a playwright, a technical manual writer, a copy editor, or anything else in between. So why would I be so excited over this book? Why even read it in the first place? If you'll pardon this brief indulgence, here's a little background. For most of my life, and certainly for my entire professional career, I've been on the lookout for anything that might come in handy down the line. Usually this is stuff in the social sciences, but of course there's a lot of "peripheral" material that goes into the work. How does a mental health and addiction counselor end up as a database manager? By reading books like this, and picking up whatever tools and techniques I can by whatever means available. Over the years it all adds up. What does all this have to do with the book? Yes, Clark makes good on his promise of 50 tools. But more than that he illustrates my attitude, my efforts, my path toward mastery of my work and my life. His examples are all, of course, uniquely his own. But I find so much to relate to in here - as I expect most readers will. His style is familiar, accessible, at ease. His examples are clear and concise. He throws in some peppering here and there, such as names of friends and colleagues, places he's lived and works, little anecdotes, all the fun little stuff that makes an otherwise technical manual not just bearable but fun. While he does get into the how-to side of things, every chapter is as accessible as your average (well written) newspaper article. So fear not: you are watching a master at work. So what are the 50 tools (or 50 strategies, 50 techniques, 50 suggestions)? I can't do it justice with a summary. I will say there's something for everyone. He covers the full spectrum, from the nitty gritty of sentence structure and flow, to set the pace for the reader to keep up (or get dragged along), to facing fears of the dreaded Outlines, Deadlines, Procrastination, and Criticism. Is everything here for everyone? I wouldn't think so. But I doubt anyone would protest when Clark covers familiar ground. And it's sometimes good cover familiar ground regardless. To borrow one of my favorite lines from Hagakure, "If in listening to the same thing ten or twenty times it happens that you come to an unexpected understanding, that moment will be very special." I put this one among the finest books I've found to date - another lucky bookstore find turned bookshelf treasure. No matter what you writing level, style, or purpose, if you're interested in improving your writing, there's no better place to start.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I love to read, and I love to write. I especially love to read about writing. On my way back from a hockey game in Wilkes-Barre one night, I stopped for gas. On top of the gas pump I was using, sat this book. It was in rough shape - wet, discolored, etc. If it had been a book about anything else, I leave it right where it was. But since it was about writing, I took it home. And I'm glad I did. This book is on par with Strunk & White, "On Writing", and "Bird by Bird", as far as instructional writing I love to read, and I love to write. I especially love to read about writing. On my way back from a hockey game in Wilkes-Barre one night, I stopped for gas. On top of the gas pump I was using, sat this book. It was in rough shape - wet, discolored, etc. If it had been a book about anything else, I leave it right where it was. But since it was about writing, I took it home. And I'm glad I did. This book is on par with Strunk & White, "On Writing", and "Bird by Bird", as far as instructional writing books. A must-own for any serious writer. Having lived in the St. Petersburg area of Florida, I'm not surprised to learn that the Poytner Institute is associated with the St. Pete Times. Might explain why I still think that is one of the best newspapers I've ever read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Castles

    A very good book, I’ve learned a couple of anecdotes. I like the fact it can successfully speak to different kind of writers: journalist, novelist or any other writer. I was surprised to see how long it took me to finish it, probably because the short and dense chapters leave you pondering after each one. Logically this book should be read slowly and with practice in between, and not like me, reading it as a regular book. All in all, it’s good, it’s positive, but I did find it a bit too much Am A very good book, I’ve learned a couple of anecdotes. I like the fact it can successfully speak to different kind of writers: journalist, novelist or any other writer. I was surprised to see how long it took me to finish it, probably because the short and dense chapters leave you pondering after each one. Logically this book should be read slowly and with practice in between, and not like me, reading it as a regular book. All in all, it’s good, it’s positive, but I did find it a bit too much American oriented, and I was disappointed it didn’t include an example of a surrealistic/hyperrealist writer. I also found the bonus part with five more tips pretty useless, while the book is well complete after the 50’th.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I saw Roy Peter Clark speak at Teachers College last year during a professional development day focused on helping my students advance as writers. Although I walked away with a lot of fantastic ideas for my classroom, I was equally inspired as a writer myself to "raise the level" of my own writing. His book, Writing Tools, is fantastic and I would recommend it for any writer, but particularly for those in the midst of revision. It feels a little silly to put it on my "read" shelf, as I will cont I saw Roy Peter Clark speak at Teachers College last year during a professional development day focused on helping my students advance as writers. Although I walked away with a lot of fantastic ideas for my classroom, I was equally inspired as a writer myself to "raise the level" of my own writing. His book, Writing Tools, is fantastic and I would recommend it for any writer, but particularly for those in the midst of revision. It feels a little silly to put it on my "read" shelf, as I will continue to go back to this book time and time again.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Clark

    How is this not required reading for all writers? All students? All teachers of writing? LOVED IT. Stealing so many this year...and the best part is you barely have to think of how you'll take his fantastic structure in each chapter and mold it into a mini-lesson pronto -- or keep right alongside you for writing conferences. STELLAR. Still hoping to run into him each summer we're in St. Pete. How is this not required reading for all writers? All students? All teachers of writing? LOVED IT. Stealing so many this year...and the best part is you barely have to think of how you'll take his fantastic structure in each chapter and mold it into a mini-lesson pronto -- or keep right alongside you for writing conferences. STELLAR. Still hoping to run into him each summer we're in St. Pete.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ray Charbonneau

    One of the best ways to procrastinate is to read about writing, instead of actually writing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    S.C. Barrus

    This book was everything I hoped it would be. 50 tools for writers ranging from sentence structure techniques to research and preparation for the big book. I felt like I became a better writer by the time I reached the 20th tool, which is a testament to how useful these strategies are. There were a few lessons I was able to apply right away, others that took some thought and gestation, and still others that were lost in the wealth of information. I'll be reading this one again, I'm sure. So if you This book was everything I hoped it would be. 50 tools for writers ranging from sentence structure techniques to research and preparation for the big book. I felt like I became a better writer by the time I reached the 20th tool, which is a testament to how useful these strategies are. There were a few lessons I was able to apply right away, others that took some thought and gestation, and still others that were lost in the wealth of information. I'll be reading this one again, I'm sure. So if you're on the fence, buy it. I'm sure there will be something useful you'll be able to apply next time you sit to write.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cecily Winter

    I read the 10th edition of this book in paperback, which has an extra section to make it 55 tools. Overall, I found Mr. Clark's guide to writing "tools" an incredibly comprehensive reminder of what I already know (and often forget in the heat of composition) and a template for improving productivity. I heartily recommend it to all readers, especially those puzzled about the techniques to create a more effective and/or germane writing style. As a former academic, I can attest to the fact that not I read the 10th edition of this book in paperback, which has an extra section to make it 55 tools. Overall, I found Mr. Clark's guide to writing "tools" an incredibly comprehensive reminder of what I already know (and often forget in the heat of composition) and a template for improving productivity. I heartily recommend it to all readers, especially those puzzled about the techniques to create a more effective and/or germane writing style. As a former academic, I can attest to the fact that not all types of writing demand the same skillset--but this book is a great jump-off point for essayists and fiction writers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I enjoy reading books on writing and I will be jumping into this again many times this year. It's a wonderful resource for any teacher or writer. My three favourite things about it: 1) Contains the wisdom of other books pared down to concise chapters. 2) Applies to all types & styles of writing (and has quotes from professionals in many fields) 3) Activities at the end of each chapter (with variable strengths & weaknesses, but a teacher could tweak some great activities from many of these strategie I enjoy reading books on writing and I will be jumping into this again many times this year. It's a wonderful resource for any teacher or writer. My three favourite things about it: 1) Contains the wisdom of other books pared down to concise chapters. 2) Applies to all types & styles of writing (and has quotes from professionals in many fields) 3) Activities at the end of each chapter (with variable strengths & weaknesses, but a teacher could tweak some great activities from many of these strategies)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    This was a gift and I really enjoyed not only the focus on fiction but also on non-fiction and journalism. There were some great examples from different places in each of the 55 tools. It was also affirming in some ways that it focused on things I think are important, but also some things I hadn't thought of and some things I needed to be reminded of. It got me thinking about writing, and working through some pieces. This was a gift and I really enjoyed not only the focus on fiction but also on non-fiction and journalism. There were some great examples from different places in each of the 55 tools. It was also affirming in some ways that it focused on things I think are important, but also some things I hadn't thought of and some things I needed to be reminded of. It got me thinking about writing, and working through some pieces.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Liu

    This was the textbook used for one of my writing courses in university– and that course changed my life. Writing Tools is an excellent little handbook writers should keep with them throughout their career. Every time I'm "stuck" on my writing, I'll try to flip open this book and, hopefully, receive enough power to pick up my pen again. This was the textbook used for one of my writing courses in university– and that course changed my life. Writing Tools is an excellent little handbook writers should keep with them throughout their career. Every time I'm "stuck" on my writing, I'll try to flip open this book and, hopefully, receive enough power to pick up my pen again.

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