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The craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head. In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In hiThe craft of writing offers countless potential problems: The story is too long; the story's too short; revising presents a huge hurdle; writer's block is rearing its ugly head. In HELP! FOR WRITERS, Roy Peter Clark presents an "owner's manual" for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, and addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face. In his trademark engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem. Out of ideas? Read posters, billboards, and graffiti. Can't bear to edit yourself? Watch the deleted scenes feature of a DVD, and ask yourself why those scenes were left on the cutting-room floor. HELP! FOR WRITERS offers 210 strategies to guide writers to success....

Title : Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316126717
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces Reviews

  • Alexandria Nicole
    2019-04-12 06:32

    This book wasn't the best book I've ever read about writing, which I've only read a few, but it served it's purpose very well. It did exactly what you expected - it gave a lot of solutions to writing problems. At points it gives specific advice or techniques that might work well for some people, but I like the fact that it stresses to kind of 'do your own thing'. It realizes not the same thing works for everyone but it gives you solutions you can try. Some solutions are precise like using notecards to develop the order of your story. Or sorting information into certain files so they're easily accessible for when you need them. Other are more general and things that you can find ways to do yourself. I liked that we got both kinds of advice.The author did a good job of talking about making your work interesting, and actually making his work interesting to read. Nothing's worse then being taught by a teacher who doesn't even use their own advice. Luckily, this book wasn't like that. Even though some of the interesting stuff (the stuff not very helpful just there to keep the reader interested) I think could have been left out, but there wasn't too much of that. I also felt like some of the points trying to be made, weren't made very well. I couldn't exactly get what a certain story was supposed to convey or the point the author was making. Again, this didn't happen a lot, but I noticed it on several locations. Overall, there's so much material in the back of the book that's it's an excellent resource! You can tell the author knows what they are talking about and has been in the profession for a while, because there are some really helpful guidelines throughout the book and other books to even reference in the back. Glad I was able to get a copy of this book!

  • LuAnn
    2019-04-01 04:38

    I teach writing classes and as a published author I almost blew this book off, but once I settled in to read I found Clark had included lots of great ideas I could use not only in my lectures, but also to motivate myself to keep writing. Well worth the time to read this one, even if you're an experienced author.

  • Gaby
    2019-03-20 07:42

    I gravitate towards books on writing and grammar in the hope that I'll become a better writer and reduce the tension and procrastination that often characterize a major deadline. Unfortunately, while I tend to be optimistic about improving my writing, much as I tend to look for the latest fitness books in the hope that this will encourage me to "be more disciplined and healthier", my follow through often falls short.If you write and have reached the point where you feel ready to show your work to friends and critics, I know that you will benefit from the advice that Roy Clark offers above.If you are still "working on" your writing, Help! For Writers provides practical advice and a technical approach to writing and thinking about writing. When writing and editing, we try to pare our language down to the essentials, much the way that artists, creatives, and even lawyers reduce their ideas to the essential elements. Clark suggests specific ways to do this, to reduce the unnecessary parts. I'm a timid writer. I tend towards putting things away, disappointed by the first draft. But chapter 11 "My early drafts are littered with cliches" helped me put things in perspective. The advice encourages us to realize that even mistakes and weaknesses can be used to bring us closer to our writing goals. Clark encourages clear thinking and careful use of language directly and through his tips and exercises. While some books target a specific goal, such as writing a screenplay or a novel in several steps or using certain structures, Help! For Writers points out that "the writer does not have to get all Gothic to build cathedrals of words. On many occasions, the holy trinity of beginning, middle, and end will get the job done." Clark has gentle suggestions to help look at our problems and roadblocks and learn from them. Clark gives us examples from other writers which made the concepts concrete. Help! For Writers encourages us to write and gives specific and practical advice geared towards getting us to keep writing and to become better writers. ISBN-10: 0316126713 - Hardcover $22.99Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 21, 2011), 304 pages.Review copy provided by the publisher.

  • Jules
    2019-04-05 02:20

    I have always tinkered with my writing and seem to gravitate to books and classes that aid me in that pursuit. Back in October of 2010 I had the privilege of reviewing Mr. Clark's book The Glamour of Grammar. His newest offering is another book that will be residing next to that one on my bookshelf for years to come.Roy Peter Clark's writing style is very easy for the reader to comprehend as well as enjoy. As in the previous book, he breaks the material down into bite-size chunks that the would-be writer ~ or experienced author, can easily digest. His manner and delivery are both entertaining and educational. I found myself laughing at some points and taking copious notes at others. His comments and observations sparked several ideas that I had to jot down immediately. The book is presented in logical order taking you through seven simple steps of the writing journey. The author wraps it up with a list of 25 of his favorite writing books. I found this to be yet another helpful resource from him.In the post I wrote about my meeting with Diana Gabaldon, I noted that she told all of us that we don't have to write in a straight line from A-Z or start to finish. You can write chapter 12 before you write chapter 3. Go ahead and create the ending before the beginning... Roy Peter Clark has reinforced that permission and "ah-ha" moment with this book. In the section on "Getting Your Act Together", he shares several techniques to keep your written inventory organized. With wall boards, index cards and many, many more tricks of the trade, Mr. Clark helps the writer keep it all straight. The book's opening line instructs the reader to consider Help! for Writers an owner's manual for their writing process. I think this is a very apt statement as I have already found myself referring back to the book more than once as I work on a project. I have a feeling that this will quickly become one of my "go-to" references when I come across a roadblock or just need a refresher.I definitely recommend this book to writers, would-be writers and students. It will become a staple on many home library reference shelves.

  • Michael Estey
    2019-03-22 01:47

    Help for Writers!by Roy Peter ClarkA Book Review of Sorts210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer FacesI came across this book at the library. I love these self-help books, on writing.You've just sat down at your desk, You're facing your monitor, ready to pour your heart out. You've pulled up a clean white sheet of paper, through the magic of Pages.( or Word )on your computer.You've gotten all compfy. Your fingers are resting on the keyboard. Your wrists are placed evenly the desk. You can feel your heartbeat!Your back is straight, Your feet are firmly on the floor.You've practiced, at least a thousand times.You've memorized, Your formatting. Your style. You know exactly what you want to say.You've researched, until you've exhausted every source.You're ready to Go! GO! GO! GO!You sit there, your face lit by the white screen You're mind just went blank.You have writer's block.Has that happened to you? "I can't think of anything to write." Writers block. You have deadlines.This book explains how to get your act together, starting with your writing space and focusing. The beginnings, middles and ends, in any order. Language, drafts, procrastination. Roy explains how to get out of that rut, stop procrastinating, and pick up those sagging middles, those never ending, endings. Cutting, editing, proofing and making those deadlines. Even listening to criticism. Something we would rather not do.I'd recommend this to all newbie writers. Written in a personal, easy to read style. I loved it!Roy Peter Clark also authored Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar.Dog Brindle

  • Adam
    2019-03-26 05:23

    Clark's book has a ton of good information that every writer should know about organizing and keeping things handy. Mostly not new to me, but always good to remember what's in the toolbox. (And I did actually start looking up word derivations when seeking inspiration)One handy idea: List the questions you want to answer, or what you want the reader to take away.Advice I've heard elsewhere and like to remember -- engage the senses. (And conflict them)Interesting point if you want to write something big and feel like you don't have the time -- a page a day, 250 words, equals a book a year Good point about middles. Have a big event there. Put a gold coin along the pathZero draft is a great concept. Write what you know or think you know without research to get a focus.

  • M.A. Ray
    2019-03-26 03:22

    Mostly relevant to journalists and nonfiction writers, I thought, but some very good insights on researching and organization in general.

  • Catherine
    2019-04-17 09:31

    At first I didn't like this book, until the 4th page. And then a lightbulb went off and wow. I began "getting it". I restarted and chose a chapter I thought would be of help of where I am as a writer. Ever so slowly I began. This time instead of rushing through to finish a chapter, I took a deep breath and began reading a small section of that chapter. My thinking began to see how it would help me as a writer. My mind wondered into my own use in the currently book I'm writing. It was a wonderful experience. I apologize Roy Peter Clark, the author, of jumping the gun and trying to run through your book. Like the cliche is said, if you want to eat an elephant you must do it one bite at a time. This is the way I view your book. I experienced your shared thoughts that flowed easily to my own writing. I learned to take a bite and stop. Turn your suggestion, thought, into stories from memory and new thoughts into more memories. I began with a library copy and 3/4 the way through the book I purchase a hard copy for my permanent shelt. I believe this book will keep giving, helping, my writing for years to come. This book, for me, has a much higher rating than just six stars. I am so glad I have a permanent copy of my shelf. I look forward to re-reading every chapter one bite at a time over the many years ahead.

  • Meghan
    2019-03-23 03:17

    A great and practical book on the craft of writing. Focuses on breaking through writer's block, how to best work with editors, ways to make manuscripts more concise and precise, ways to structure a story. Equally meant for journalistic writing as well as fiction writers. Solidly done and very useful.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-30 02:47

    This book was okay. There were some helpful suggestions but overall I felt like it was tips I have read before.

  • Yoshiki
    2019-03-27 02:23

    Maybe helpful to aspiring writers.

  • Terry Freedman
    2019-03-22 05:42

    The subtitle of this book is "210 solutions to the problems every writer faces". The author, Roy Peter Clark, has divided these up into seven main sections, these being: Getting started Getting your act together Finding focus Looking for language Building a draft Assessing your progress Making it betterPlus a section that includes the author's 25 favourite writing books.What attracted me to the book were the fact that you can dip into it anywhere you like, and the subsections within the main sections. For example, one subheading is "I have problems selecting my best stuff". That is certainly a problem I have, but Clark suggests a fairly mechanical method of dealing with it. Ultimately, you end up with a list of what is most important and what is most interesting -- and there's a good chance they will be one and the same.I have come across quite a lot of how-to books on the craft of writing, and what I especially liked about this one is that the advice is often different from the usual stuff. Not that the "usual stuff" is not good, but it is refreshing to hear something new for a change.Although quite a few examples are concerned with fiction rather than non-fiction, I think the advice can be applied interchangeably between them.I also liked the personal voice, and the honesty. Consider, for example, this extract from a sentence: "I don't remember reading the stories in this anthology...."I come across so many people and writers who try to present themselves as infallible that I appreciate it when someone says, in effect, "buy this book, even though I can't remember if I read all of it." (Clark recalls one part of it that was so god he read it over and over again.)I have yet to come across anything in the book I don't like. However, I haven't read the book in its entirety. For that reason alone I fear I cannot give it 5 out of 5. All I will say is that if you are looking for a way to improve your efficiency as a writer, and advice on how to deal with the sort of obstacles writers face day in and day out, buy this book.

  • Mayda
    2019-04-11 07:34

    You may not consider yourself a writer, and indeed, you may never be a published writer, but you write things all the time: to friends, to businesses, to co-workers. And, whether writing is your career, your art, or just your way of keeping in touch with Facebook pals, you can still benefit from Roy Peter Clark’s insightful guide to writing. His book, Help! for Writers, is based on the premise that most troubles with writing boil down to the same issues, which can therefore be solved with the same set of ideas. Clark writes that the “sonneteer,” the “pamphleteer,” and “the author of a 140-character message on Twitter” all, on some level, use the same approach to the craft of writing. Using witty and comfortable prose, Clark breaks down the writing process into seven steps, lists three common problems associated with each step, and – here’s the fun part – offers ten varied solutions for each one, which gives writers the opportunity to work with whichever suggestions best fit their style. Some of his most helpful advice deals with such painful matters as revising and editing, researching, getting started, and, of course, the infamous writer’s block. Clark even goes as far as describing different ways of looking at things that can help inspire an idea, and he talks of physical nonwriting activities that can help the writing process. Finally, he achieves all this with a conversational tone, as though he were a friend giving advice over a cup of coffee. He gives examples from his own writing experiences, and he never condescends. A fantastic guide for the writer in everyone. Highly recommended. I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads.

  • Allie Smith
    2019-04-17 07:28

    This book was very helpful and surprisingly easy to read. The author, Roy Peter Clark, gave so many fun anecdotes about “the writing life” and all its foils, with humor and earnest insight. It’s not always as easy as it looks.The Table of Contents reads like a text book, which made me nervous that reading the book will be like school work, but it’s not. His style and tone are pure fun and not the least bit condescending. I almost forgot I was getting “help”! Help I did get. He offers exercises, advice and insight into a variety of issues, such as: finding ideas, research, organization (of everything, including your work space!), and focus, using language, writing drafts & the devil for me… revision!As I mentioned before, his examples really do help. After explaining a problem and/or its suggested fix, he reveals a published piece of text to drive the point home (there’s a fun section on clichés, as well). Examples from which he borrows include: the Bible, the Oxford Dictionary, The Washington Post, Star Wars, The Godfather, Jane Eyre, Dante’s Inferno, Catch 22, Law and Order, and the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare, just to name a few. The book does seem to focus on journalistic or nonfiction writing, but I think it can be applied to all writing. His message seems to be that to help yourself write better – you need to write. He certainly helps get the wheels turning.I will keep this book on my desk for reference and have also ordered his book on grammar.

  • Rose
    2019-04-11 09:42

    "Help! For Writers" is certainly a writing guide I took quite a bit from. It addresses specific suggestions for different stages in the writing of a manuscript and how to remedy certain problems or blocks in their respective natures, whether it's in the planning stages, organization, or different segments of your work in progress. The advice is to the point, practical, and very easy to understand and put to use. I definitely appreciated being able to go through each section, and found it easy to transition to a specific focal point within the index and easily searchable table of contents. Some of the practices I already knew, but I found the text made me look at certain things in an expanded context than what I'd been doing before. The writing guide resources at the end of the narrative also gave me additional jumping points to find resources beyond what this text provided.I wouldn't say that it's comprehensive with respect to its advice, and I think there were places in the narrative where it could've been more specific, but this isn't a style guide or a "how to write" guide as much as it is one that helps you along the process of where you get stuck and why that might be. Then it gives you suggestions about where to go, while asking you questions that make you think about the narrative your working on. I found it inspiring, well worth the price I bought it for, and will certainly use it in the future.Overall score: 4/5

  • Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
    2019-04-08 03:44

    I had reserved Help! For Writers - 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces by Roy Peter Clark at the library for so many months that I forget now where I saw the recommendation for it, but having read it now, I'm a little disappointed.The book promises 210 solutions however I found that Clark really just described them and talked about himself, and his own writing a whole lot of the time. His insistent reference to the writer as 'she' and 'her' all the time was both puzzling and annoying and I found most of his hints and tips were common sense and nothing new.Clark seems to love his typewriter, index cards, drop files, folders, notebooks and archive boxes (especially his drop files and index cards) but didn't once mention different applications or modern methods of writing on a laptop. Nor did he make mention of any websites or online communities for writers; presumably because these can become out of date so quickly, however this book was published in September 2011.If you want old school advice on writing peppered with the occasional reference to Shakespeare, other authors and Clark's own writing, then this is the book for you.

  • Ben
    2019-03-26 05:40

    I don't really know how to rate this book to be honest, so I chose the middle ground. The truth is that I was able to take several lessons from this book and look with new perspective into different ways of writing. Mainly from author voice, organization and forgiving yourself for missing goals or deadlines, just start again. Either way I feel this book is helpful towards my writing, but I do not know how eventful this reading is or will become for this is the first book I've read on writing assistance. As I write my own stories, I may look back to this book for guidance and would still recommend "Help for Writers" merely because of it's broad range. With 210 proposed problems and solutions, I firmly would say it is worth a read depending more of someone's subject of weakness than a full read. That may turn this book more into a textbook but if the answer to your dilemma is in one chapter, you can head toward the solution. Please, give it a look if interested.

  • Steff
    2019-04-14 05:45

    I really have a love for writing and I have for many years. So, when I walked through the doors of my local library one day and this was on the shelf, it practically screamed at me to pick it up. Many of the tips in this book are useful for any writer out there, but a majority of the way things are explained are from a journalist point of view. If you're a fiction writer you'll still benefit from reading this book, but some parts might seem like a bit of a bore. That is the only reason I didn't rate this higher. I honestly just didn't feel like a lot of it appealed to me. I really enjoyed the last section of 'Keeping the Faith'. If anything, that was probably the best part of the book and it was only several pages long. I would recommend this to anyone with any sort of interest in writing. If anything, at least skim through. The way it is organized is easy to read and easy to find what helpful hints your looking for in certain problems of writing.

  • Bev
    2019-03-21 04:42

    I've read a lot of books on writers and writing. This one was a little different.First, it was geared towards nonfiction and journalism, rather than fiction writers or novelists. There was a lot of advice on research, etc -- very useful for a historical fiction writer, even if that wasn't the original intent.Second, it didn't really attempt to inspire or encourage. Fine with me -- there are plenty of those books out there. My guess? This book was either written by an engineer, or the child of engineers. It read like an instruction manual. Third, it was organized for quick reference, rather than cover-to-cover reading. At first, that was a little frustrating to me. Over the course of a week, though, I found myself returning to it again and again. Summary: We could all use an instruction manual sometime. Just understand what you're getting.

  • Marcie
    2019-04-16 06:46

    I really enjoyed this book. Although I am not a writer by trade, I write at work every single day and I found the organization tips and structure tips really relevant to what I do. I read the book in order from beginning to end, but I will definitely keep this book at hand to refer to specific sections as the need arises. The organization of the book is such that it is easy to find a section that deals with a particular challenge for easy reference. The examples and anecdotes were varied and kept my interest.I appreciated the amount of detail the author included about the process of writing a really large project; something I have always wanted to try, but really had no idea where to start. I feel inspired to attempt a larger project after reading this book, and I will read this author's other book "The Glamour of Grammar".

  • Cheryl Malandrinos
    2019-03-26 07:42

    Vice president and senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, Clark shares his decades worth of experience with writers in this engaging and valuable volume that includes 210 solutions for problems writers face. From generating ideas to finding your focus to strategies for writers block and more, Help! For Writers is a must have text.Clark speaks with authority from his vast experience, but he never talks down to the reader. Bits of humor are sprinkled throughout. While some of these ideas I had heard before, several were new and definitely ones I will put into practice.Whether you're writing article, short stories or full-length novels, you'll find more than one tidbit of advice to but to good use.Highly recommended.

  • Harish Puvvula
    2019-03-22 09:39

    I liked the previous works of Roy Peter Clark; however, this book failed to resonate with my expectations. I didn't read the blurb nor the jacket cover of the book before I bought it. I expected it to be along the lines of his previous books: the Glamour of Grammar, and Writing Tools. I am tad disappointed. There are portions of the book I liked, not because they stated something radically new, but they reinforced a few percepts of penmanship.My rating could alter when I look at the book with fresh eyes or when I reset my expectations. I 'yam' just being what I 'yam', probably nothing wrong with the book

  • Nikolas Larum
    2019-04-08 04:34

    Lays out the writing process in seven steps: getting started, getting your act together, finding focus, looking for language, building a draft, assessing your progress, making it better, and keeping the faith. He peppers the entire text with practical advice, insights from writers and editors, and personal anecdotes. As is often the case in reading about writing, I am very encouraged by the confirmation of techniques that I am already employing (e.g., not writing yourself out, organizing research, using stories, etc.) and challenged by what I need to work on (e.g., time management, revision, focus).

  • Jess of the Silver Sword
    2019-03-24 05:21

    This book was ok. I had high expectations after I read Clark's Writing Tools, which is probably one of the best writing books I've read. Help! was more aimed toward reporters, it seems. I thought to myself repeatedly, man, I wish I'd read this back when I was on my high school newspaper staff! I mean, Clark does address a lot of writing issues, he just seems to emphasize ones that pertain most to reporters. I still got some good writing advice from the book, such as how to twist cliches, but it wasn't my favorite of his.

  • Renee
    2019-04-02 09:46

    There were some good ideas in here, but the organization was frustrating. Each topic began with a summary that listed several main points and brief summaries of those. Then the main points were broken down further, one at a time, with more detailed summaries. All of the summarizing made it a slog to get through. It took me 6 months and I skimmed quite a bit near the end.Find more book reviews at A Quick Red Fox.

  • Sarah Brubaker
    2019-04-14 02:34

    I didn't read this from cover-to-cover, but rather read the few sections that particularly interested me. The book was formatted well for this purpose so I could easily find what I needed at the time. Because this book is generalized for EVERY writer, it wasn't specific to novel-writing (which is what I'm doing), so it was only so helpful. However, the brief pieces of advice helped me get my brain into the right gear, so it served its purpose appropriately.

  • Christie
    2019-03-23 06:39

    Roy Peter Clark is a writing instructor that has chosen to share his knowledge by publishing a book for those of us who may not be able to attend his classes. I enjoyed his suggestions for getting over procrastination and a lack of writing confidence. While reading this book I was reminded of being in a composition course with a personable teacher. Although instructive this book was pleasant to read.

  • Daniel Gaddy
    2019-03-30 05:44

    If Roy Peter Clark publishes it, anyone who writes should read it! I waited a while to read this because I figured it would focus mainly on ways to get over writer's block -- something I don't believe in. This book actually offered a great deal of strategies on organizing your work, better meeting deadlines and better collaborating with editors. And there's a reading list at the end of similar books that Clark suggests!

  • Kate McClare
    2019-04-20 03:30

    These "210 solutions to the problems every writer faces" include what a less charitable coach would call excuses: from "I can't think of anything to write" to "I resent criticism and editing." Clark offers 10 solutions to each of the 21 problems he presents, an encouraging ratio for those of us who struggle daily with the word. His central premise: "Writing is not magic. . . . The big problems of writers are few in number and lend themselves to reliable solutions."

  • Dan
    2019-03-24 02:40

    Help! For Writers is just that. I was hoping to learn something new and get me motivated to write again (it’s been awhile) and this book has some motivational tools and suggestions not only for those who have writer’s block, but those who procrastinate (me). It also gives ideas on how to find your ideas. At first, I thought it was a book to help those who write magazine articles, but it is so much more. I believe this book will be dog-eared and used over and over by many writers.