How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/8/19
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In HOW TO WRITE SHORT, Roy Peter Clark turns his attention to the art of painting a thousand pictures with just a few words. Short forms of writing have always existed-from ship logs and telegrams to prayers and haikus. But in this ever-changing Internet age, short-form writing has become an essential skill. Clark covers how to write effective and powerful titles, headlines, essays, sales pitches, Tweets, letters, and even self-descriptions for online dating services. With examples from the long tradition of short-form writing in Western culture, HOW TO WRITE SHORT guides writers to crafting brilliant prose, even in 140 characters.
"HOW TO WRITE SHORT both instructs and delights, in equal measure. On every page there is some useful advice and an amusing observation or illustration. Read this book!" --Ben Yagoda, author of How to Not Write Bad
"A fun, practical guide. Clark really knows his way around a sentence. Learn from him." --Christopher Johnson, author of Microstyle
"Engaging, entertaining, indispensable." --James Geary, author of The World in a Phrase and I Is an Other
"HOW TO WRITE SHORT comes at the perfect time and enshrines Roy Peter Clark as America's best writing coach. This book should be on every serious writer's shelf." --Tampa Bay Times
"A deeply practical guidebook and an annotated collection of concise gems. HOW TO WRITE SHORT will make you a better writer at any length." --Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
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The book is well organized and the writing is clear and, of course, concise. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned a lot.
-- "But here is the key: whether the writing is formal or informal, whether it appears as a tome or a paragraph, the writer has the duty to perfect, polish, and revise, even if that work needs to be done in a minute or less."
-- "In studying thousands of examples of short writing, old and new, I've been amazed at how many of the most memorable depend on parallelism (with variation) to work their magic."
-- "There is no right answer, except for this: A good short writer must be a disciplined cutter, not just of clutter, but of language that would be useful if she had more space. How, what, and when to cut in the interest of brevity, focus, and precision must preoccupy the mind of every good short writer."
Clark writes his advice in 35 short reflections organized into two sections: "How to Write Short" and "How to Write Short with a Purpose". He caps these sections off with an epilog: "A Few Final Words--441 to Be Exact".
Clark's first reflection focuses on getting you to open your eyes. In a world inundated with data in the form of writing, images, and sounds, what catches your attention? Coyly, Clark paraphrases the line from Sixth Sense. Not, "I see dead people", but "I see short writing"(15). Clark collects shorts like other people collect sidewalk pennies. In reviewing the sparse style of these shorts, he draws attention to the backstory that makes them interesting. Shorts sparkle because they remind you of something. A "grace note", Clark adds, increases the sparkle by reframing the sparkle in a new, interesting way. Or it may just offer a jolt (17-21).
I did not expect a writing book to be a page turner. I did not expect How to Write Short would get me to look at my long writing differently. I do expect that I will be referring back to this book in my book's next edit. Yeah!