Mike Dariano

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Writing Tools (book review)

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by @RoyPeterClark. Recommended by a Facebook friend this book outlines tools to use as a writer. As I write word though not always ordered right, this book was very instructional. My writing education began and ended with a 7th grade English class when we listened to Alanis Morissette sing Ironic over and over as well as some discussion of simile which was like talking about the difference of between soft rock and adult contemporary. I was more interested in girls and science fiction two things which you normally don't think would go together - and you'd be right.

My lack of writing education continued throughout college where I managed to mangle papers into some readable form and then into graduate school where I got a teaching assistant position grading papers. If ever there was a job I felt under qualified for, this was it. The other TA was a scholar, literally having been awarded an opportunity to teach in Germany prior to sharing an office with me. Through a lot of reading and a bit of envy to try and catch up to my officemate, I slowly became better at writing.

Writing Tools then is the first type of manual I've used to write better. Though I've also read Stephen King's On Writing this felt more geared toward writing fiction and non-fiction for any level writer. The book lists 50 tools a writer can use and each one made me think how to use it more in my writing but each one was also malleable. One tool for instance, to be creative in analogies. In the first paragraph Morissette would be both soft rock and adult contemporary and I used the description of simile to make a simile. Each tool has a few examples of the use, and at first these appeared as complex as a set of blueprints for a skyscraper but as Clark broke things down they slowly changed from the complex to the simple.

This book is challenging my attempt to not buy books this year (1st 100 days) but to also have only the things in my life that I need. My resolution to not buy books and clothes rose out of the concept of appreciating the things I had and not having excess, this book is not excess. This book will help me be a better writer, of that I have no doubt.

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