Resources for Writers
G & B
HOME
G
ABOUT WRITING
B
ABOUT WRITING
Reviews of
Writing Books
Websites
for Writers
Selected
Quotations
G/B
Workshops
DELAMAR WEB
Reviews: Books about Writing
Book Reviews:
   Conventional Book Reviews   (standard commentary/review of book) 
  Knothole Book Reviews   (a "knothole review" is "not whole"-- 
       the concept is to give insights into an author's style, craft, and knowledge through selected excerpts.) 
Make Your Words Work 
Gary Provost 
Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 1990

"Can writing be taught?... I'm not sure why this question keeps coming up. My friend Frank plays the mandolin, and nobody "ever asked him if mandolin playing can be taught.... Yes, writing can be taught.... But good writing, writing that works, does contain observable, repeatable phenomena.... 

"Writing is an art, not a science, and there are many times in your writing when the "wrong" way is the right way.... But...always obey the rules of style unless you know why the writing works better some other way...."

'William Strunk suggests that adjectives are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words".... Write and rewrite.... The first draft doesn't have to be good. It just has to be there." 

"Writing is not a visual art. It is a symphony, not an oil painting. It is the shattering, not the glass. It is the ringing, not the bell.... Vary the length of your sentences.... Appeal to the senses.... Keep things happening. If nothing is happening, why are you writing about it?" 

"Your short stories will sail with dialogue and often sink without it. If you write a novel with little dialogue, chances are no editor will ever get near the end of it.... Good dialogue between characters has tension.... There's no unsinkable rule about when or when not to use dialogue. But ask yourself, "If a stranger were nearby would she try to eavesdrop on this conversation?" If the answer is no, don't use it. If it's yes, use it." 

"The difference between published and unpublished writers is one of degree, not of kind. Publication is not some magical turning point about which you suddenly know all there is to know about writing. It is more a measure of your progress along a path  toward an imaginary point of writing perfection." 

--excerpted by Willilam T. Delamar

TOP OF PAGE

BACK TO BOOK REVIEWS

HOME