A Writer's Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies That Work
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Mystified over misplaced modifiers? In a trance from intransitive verbs? Paralyzed from using the passive voice? To aid writers, from beginners to professionals, legendary writing coach Jack Hart presents a comprehensive, practical, step-by-step approach to the writing process. He shares his techniques for composing and sustaining powerful writing and demonstrates how to overcome the most common obstacles such as procrastination, writer’s block, and excessive polishing. With instructive examples and excerpts from outstanding writing to provide inspiration, A Writer’s Coach is a boon to writers, editors, teachers, and students.
in a block quote in roman type. But the vast majority of the examples I've included were actually published somewhere, and each of those is set in italic type. Because I took them from the reading I did every day, over many years, they represent a tolerably good sampling of the hazards and opportunities any writer is likely to encounter in the real world. Bad examples are unattributed—the point is to learn from mistakes, not to shame anybody with them. Good examples from publications other than
structure for the writing. Some popular novelists with minimal polish skills sell millions of books to mass audiences because strong characters and classic plot complications propel their story lines. For their audiences, clunky sentences and laughable language don't dim the attraction one watt. But it's the polish that more discriminating readers see when they first 40 PROCESS encounter your writing. Weak verbs, clichés, and redundant modifiers will brand you as an incompetent, regardless of
the day in 1950 when he was a sixyear-old whining for his parents' attention. Louis and Mary Leakey were digging for ancient bones on the shores of Lake Victoria, but their little boy wanted to play. He wanted lunch. He wanted his mother to cuddle him. He wanted something to do. "Go find your own bone," said his exasperated father, waving Richard off toward scraps of fossils lying around the site. What the little boy found was the jawbone—the best ever unearthed—of an extinct giant pig. As he
less than capacity? He linked them together in a nine-room Victorian mansion as the perennial murder suspects in the classic game "Clue." The two are bound together by a common thought. . . . A new coach and new players are blending together. ... If you're linked, bound, or blended, you're about as together as you can get, short of sex. Less extreme examples of the same principle include "gather together" and "join together." . . . and that would free up more federal old-growth timber sales for
and Dad put a sock in my mouth." "What did Mom do?" "She humping me." "Do you know what that means?" "I was on top . . ." "Did you run away from her?" "No." "Do you dream about your mom?" "Yes." 165 A WRITER'S COACH "Good dreams or bad?" "Good." THE CHAPTER 8 CHEAT SHEET Five Ways to Get People intoYour Writing 1. Tell stories to get stories. Anecdotes add color to almost any form of nonfiction, but they're tough to get. Try priming the pump by telling stories that illustrate the points you'd