Verilyn Klinkenborg is a teacher of creative writing at Yale, wrote for the New York Times from 1997 to 2013 and has also written for the New Yorker.
I don’t know why I was reading this book. There are other way more popular books on writing— maybe it was showcased in the library. Or it was new at the time.
The book did not feel very structured when I read it which I thought was funny because it was a book about writing well.
The quote on the front of the book says that it is the best book on writing ever… I would have to respectfully disagree. There are some great ideas in the book worth repeating but I would recommend On Writing by Stephen King or The War of Art by Steven Pressfield first.
Here are those ideas that I found most useful: you can assume everything is a direct quote. (Stuff in parantheses I added to help understanding)
Know what each sentence says, what it doesn’t say and what it implies
Most of the sentences you make will need to be killed, the rest will need to be fixed
Subject(that you write about) only as valid as your writing makes it
We’ve been taught to overlook character of prose for its “meaning”
Any variation in wording changes the nuances that emanate from the sentence
Learn to recognize what interests you
(When reading) Believe that every sentence has been consciously shaped by the writer
Read aloud so you can hear the shape of the syntax
Good prose sounds spoken
Don’t outline, outlining fails to realize that writing comes from writing
Researching, reading, noticing, interviewing, traveling, paying attention, note-taking anything to understand what interests you
If a piece of writing is truly assured in its order it needs no logical indicators, no buts or howevers
(Read in 2015)