A Practical, Innovative Step By Step Approach To The Writing Process From One Of The Most Acclaimed Writing Coaches In The Country In A Writer S Coach, Jack Hart A Managing Editor At The Oregonian Shares The Wisdom With Which He Has Coached Reporters To Pulitzer Prize Winning Success He Gives Invaluable Advice On Gathering Ideas, Writing Theme Statements And Outlines, And Using The Ladder Of Abstraction To Add Variety And Texture To Writing He Provides A Lexicon Of Lead Sentences He Shares His Ideas For Composing And Sustaining Powerful Writing, And For Ensuring That What You Write Will Be Accessible To Your Audience Discussing The Ways Writers Can Trip Themselves Up Procrastination, Writer S Block, And Excessive Polishing, To Name Just A Few Hart Demonstrates How To Overcome Each Obstacle Excerpts From Writers Such As Ernest Hemingway And Joan Didion, And From Articles Gathered From Magazines And Newspapers, Provide Inspiration And Instructive Examples Of Both Inadequate And Exemplary Writing Like A Personal, Portable Writing Coach, A Writer S Coach Will Be A Boon To Writers, Editors, Teachers, And Students

10 thoughts on “A Writer's Coach: An Editor's Guide to Words That Work

  1. says:

    I would like to have this book loaded on a computer chip and implanted in my brain Then I could draw on it at will And as a writer and editor, I would scale mountains and slay dragons and always return home a hero But such automatic success would eliminate the trying, failing, trying again and succeeding that is so rewarding if you are a writer or editor You know you ll never know it all, but you keep learning to get as close as you can So what I ll do is just keep this book nearby I ll dip back into it now and again for its hundreds of dead on, plain English writing and editing tips Beyond that, I ll remember its message You can be a better writer and editor not by waiting for a thunderbolt to form you, or by finding the key to the secret room where the elements of great writing reveal themselves, but by consciously working at the precision elements of the craft, for a lifetime.

  2. says:

    A great book I reread it everytime I do the final read through on my manuscripts It s a great refresher that enables me to realign and focus on whether I am clearly and effectively making my point A great reference for non fiction writers.

  3. says:

    A Writer s Coach teaches you how to improve the substance of your writing It covers classic, Strunk White categories like brevity, clarity, and color But you ll also learn how to improve the writing process itself And good news Going from idea to published piece is about method, not magic.The book is well organized and easy to reference In addition to an index, Hart provides summaries cheat sheets at the end of every chapter He writes with journalists first in mind, but his advice is useful to any writer If you re looking for a book to help you improve your writing, start with this one.

  4. says:

    It was a dark and stormy night that s how you should start any good piece of writing, right This is the type of book that you can keep at your desk as a handy reference guide It goes wide and covers theme and structure and zooms in with your handy grammar tips and guidelines about creating prose that resonates With real life examples, it s also a really fun read dare I say laugh out loud at moments Highly recommend this book for anybody getting serious about writing.

  5. says:

    It was dumb luck I stumbled upon Jack Hart s book, A Writer s Coach Pantheon Books 2006 I couldn t afford to hire an editor for my novel, but knew it needed help There are hundreds thousands of self help books on this topic, so how was I to pick the one that would work for me I personally own over a dozen, including Lukeman s First Five Pages, several by Donald Maass and several by James Frey While I did want one that specialized in self editing, I also have quite a few of those including Writing From A to Z and Self editing for Fiction Writers.Truth, I don t know why I picked Jack Hart Maybe because he s a well respected editor who s helped four Pulitzer Prize winning authors though this isn t what I aspire to be It s definitely not because of his quarter century as managing editor at The Oregonian, the Pacific Northwest s largest newspaper I m not a fan of main stream media I might have been influenced by his decade long column for Editor Publisher magazine called The Writer s Workshop.Overall, I m not sure, but I m glad I did The Writer s Coach is a nuts and bolts approach to fixing the problems endemic in first drafts Though ten years old, Harts advice transcends trends and medium, delving into the problems and angst shared by all writers Chapters include Method Process Structure Force Brevity Clarity Rhythm Humanity Color Voice Mechanics MasteryThe pithiness that colors the chapter titles flows throughout the book Humanity Have you ever seen that in a how to write book Here is the publisher review of the book Mystified over misplaced modifiers In a trance from intransitive verbs Paralyzed from using the passive voice To aid writers, from beginners to professionals, legendary writing coach Jack Hart presents a comprehensive, practical, step by step approach to the writing process He shares his techniques for composing and sustaining powerful writing and demonstrates how to overcome the most common obstacles such as procrastination, writer s block, and excessive polishing Alliteration aside, I found a lot to love about this book Here are several of my favorite quotes What s the first thing you do when facing a new writing assignment I ask Get a cup of coffee, a journalist replied The tendency to see the task ahead as overwhelming explains most keyboard anxiety A problem visible at any one stage of the writing process usually results from something that happened at the immediately preceding stage The best theme statements include a transitive verb Transitive verbs require the A causes B brand of thinking that characterizes a true hypothesis Stay lose through your first draft and write fast You may even want to put your notes aside while you write, leaving blanks Don t stall on the first line The important thing is to get moving, not write the perfect opening the parasites in the pond of prose first said by E.B White needless qualifiers such as rather , somewhat , generally , virtually , pretty , slightly , a bit , and little Five ways to add Oomph to your writing Find action verbs, avoid flabby suffixes, prefer the active voice, minimize expletives, and be bold.The only downside of this book Despite the fact it is touted as a writing coach for all writers, to me it reads as a self help for journalists than novel writers You can see from the quotes above that the points are spot on, but the narrative supporting these excellent ideas often wandered into journalist blogger nonfiction weeds Since I include all of those in my profile, that was fine with me You may feel differently.

  6. says:

    Another must read book for writers and those with lurking ambitions to make it as a writer in a very competitive world that tends to put down outsiders and beginners unless you re lucky, persistent, disciplined and focused with your goals , this book hopefully will help you on improving your efforts to sharpen your tools in your craft continuously After reading this, I m beginning to believe that I have to keep on reading and understanding inputs from books like this so that I ll improve my craft as there s so much to be learned out there, plus from my share of terrible mistakes Of course, doing reading and writing takes so much of our time, which we spend on a lot of other errands, assignments, and tasks to lead happier lives But as I ve been telling myself, it just takes a few pages each day I ve got and before I know it, I m done reading a book that I hope would be able to help me improve myself The same happened with this book, which I ve been reading and learning from as I read other books almost at the same time.What I like with this book is really about the experience of listening to someone the author who seems to like to teach about writing and doing writing as a creative endeavor worthy of time on a daily basis I enjoyed his style of giving out summaries at the end of each chapter, and before I realized it, I m done with the many chapters I ve to check his other suggestions on the books I may want to get copies somewhere so that I ll get help to improve the tools of my craft The author s never sounding like a teacher who s not enjoying himself any as a teacher you know the type you ve met a lot of them from school, I dare to guess I also got another source on a well used writing admonition and that reminded me that it pays in the long run to read aloud your work so you ll have better chances of weeding out the mistakes and in improving what you wrote down the first few times Also, just keep on writing, and correcting as you complete the process the book seems to be telling me in the background Something like what the Nike ad says just do it Also, I found out some helpful tips on how journalists work on their stuff from the way the author narrated his points based on his experiences He would share stories from his work in the journalism world I m never keen on becoming a journalist myself but I like to be able to write very well This book is so far the first book that I read on writing from a perspective of someone who s pursued journalism as a career.

  7. says:

    Jack Hart s A Writer s Coach An Editor s Guide to Words That Work is one of the best books on writing I have read It is to the point, elegant, and has a lot of useful information packed into its pages Most importantly, it is written in a way that is accessible and modern so that a reader feels like he or she is speaking with the writer A Writer s Coach is a welcome addition to any budding or professional writer, regardless of the genre being written.Some of the material covered in this little gem was surprising, like how to use metaphors properly, and in what situations Such a topic is usually difficult to explain, but in this book Hart delves into the topic with skill Also useful is the section on redundant writing, and its instructions on eliminating pointless prose There are too many examples to include here, but suffice it to say that A Writer s Coach is chock full of wonderful lessons and anecdotes that are explained in easy to remember ways Hart also includes a great list of further reading at the end of the book outlining all the texts that have influenced him throughout his professional writing career This list in itself is a treasure trove of writing instruction for budding writers A Writer s Coach should also be read in its entirety at least once so that it will be easier to return to sections of interest at a later date And note this well once a writer reads Jack Hart s book he or she will will return Also, rereading should not be difficult as the writer has done a tremendous job making the text flow like water.

  8. says:

    A Writer s Coach by Jack Hart, Pantheon Books This book assumes that you want to read up on all of the components of writing In approximately 270 pages Jack Hart covers everything from the method of writing on through the actual mechanics of thee process I bought this book, like many others, because as a younger person I failed to recognize the importance of being able to write correctly I still struggle, but, with continued help, I believe I am getting better One of the reasons is this book When we first set off to write, I tend to believe that most have no idea that there is a process Jack lists the following Idea, then Information gathering, then develop your focus, then organizing the material, creating the draft, and lastly polishing This is one of those books that you want to pick up occasionally, head for the back yard, and sit with a cup of coffee and just go through it We all need the occasional refresher course, mostly to prevent wasting time wandering around in our work Like all of my writing help books, I do that I ll grab one and thumb through it, usually because I need a little help with a particular problem For the price, and what you could garner from reading it, picking up a copy before you start to copy edit your current effort certainly couldn t hurt.

  9. says:

    Excellent This is a wonderful book for anyone who is interested in having their writing skill improved Lots of useful insights and hints on how to make your words, sentences, and paragraphs powerful and refreshing Useful examples, humorous comments Although Hart talks about the art of writing mainly from a journalist s point of view, many of the advices are applicable for various types of writing Funny enough that it is the opposite of the indirect and passive approach scientists took for their academic publications, and this is exactly the point why this book is so fascinating to me the power of language to serve different purposes.

  10. says:

    Jack Hart did it well He tells, and mostly shows, how a fine writing is done without unnecessary pain Emphasised in journalism, his practical and humorous wit strikes most of writing features, from idea generation to the art of fine tuning I wish I had had read it at the beginning of my bachelor study Get a copy soon Your writing will never be the same