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Editorial Reviews. Review. Aspiring writers do not need another pandering, pat- on-the-back, Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life by [Wilson, Douglas].
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Mar 24, Jeremy rated it it was amazing Shelves: Great advice from a pro, and it comes in small chunks, so I made lots of little bits of progress and finished in about 2 days. I've gotten into a habit of noting funny spots, and in this page book, there might be Gospel Coalition review here. And here Wilson explains which writers have provided his own writing with "that winsome tartness. Tolkien, John Calvin, G. Chesterton, Rousas Rushdoony, William Lotta fun. Chesterton, Rousas Rushdoony, William F. Buckley, Rene Girard, and John Piper. Jan 16, Jerry rated it it was amazing Shelves: This punchy little book more than lived up to its title.

Fun to read and makes you want to write. Worth reading repeatedly I recommend this book to those nascent writers, like myself, who want to expand their abilities, but don't really have the time to compile the necessary resources for doing so. This book will be one of the few that I try to read often as I continue to develop my skills. While Wilson is quite prescriptive in this book, he leaves the reader or rather, the writer with a plethora of recommended resources. Not only that, but Wilson also 'practices what he preaches. Now off to reading Mencken!

Jul 05, Elizabeth rated it really liked it. There are innumerable how-to books for writers cluttering the marketplace. I tend to avoid them often, I suppose, to my detriment , but I read this one on the recommendation of my father, and I'm not sorry I did. This is not another book purporting to tell you how to write correctly, or in the manner that might prove most lucrative. This is more a guide on how to cultivate a life conducive to worthy writing.

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I found it to be equal parts approachable and entertaining. Apr 07, Corey rated it it was amazing. One of the best writing books out there. Sep 25, Vincent Stewart rated it it was amazing Shelves: Will reference again and again. Jul 29, Scotty Mac rated it it was amazing. Hard to beat a book on writing that makes you laugh throughout.

This quick hitting practical guide to writing with power is one that I will recommend often to any aspiring writers such as myself. Jan 30, Nick rated it it was amazing Shelves: I just wish there was more. Some really interesting thoughts on the writing life! Jan 30, Valerie Kyriosity rated it really liked it. Wrought iron makes my heart go pitter-pat. There are smiths who can make beautiful things out of the stuff.

And then there are the mere farriers who can hammer a metal half-moon onto the overgrown toenail of a horse. Though they're not quite as lofty as the iron artists, they can sometimes save kingdoms , which isn't too shabby a calling. That's the kind of wordsmith I am. I like to mess about with words, but I'm not much of a writer So I read Wordsmithy in hopes of finding a tip or two to hone my skills in that department, and I was not disappointed.

Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life by Douglas Wilson

The book makes seven points, each of which has seven subpoints. I'll reflect on a few: This is why I'm not a writer. I just don't get out enough. A friend once tried to convince me that I really was a writer, so I should get busy and crank out a book. Write about your experiences as a single woman.

Me [thinking that sounded ghastly dull]: Yes, I'll write about being a bitter old maid! Well, you'll have to get over that, first. The one thing she thought I might know enough to write about, she didn't think I knew enough to write about. So this section was confirmation for me that I oughtn't fancy myself too much of a word artist, because I've got precious little in the way of subject matter. It also made me think I ought to see the other side of my front door a little more often. This was actually good advice for anybody—the improvement of one's mind by extensive reading is, as Mr.

Darcy noted, totes cool. I especially liked the permission to forget most of it. I'm an avid underliner, but I very rarely reread. Pens just make great hearing aids. This was my favorite chapter, especially the third subpoint.

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I underlined most of that one. I recently read this tweet: Both nobility and dogmas are of tremendous value, which is tremendously obvious to me and most people I know. It would be tremendously obvious to the tweeter, too, if he were held up at gunpoint: Do apostrophes have that sort of moral weight?

Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life

No, and those who behave as if they do also need a smack upside the head. This section delivers the one-two punch, KOing both the libertines and the legalists. I look forward to plagiarizing it next time I come across a tweet like that. And speaking of tweets, you can totally cheat on points two and four in this chapter by subscribing to a bunch of Twitter accounts that deliver daily or weekly content about words and their meanings. My alter-ego's follow list is a good place to start. Humorous verse is particularly recommended in subpoint three.

If you heed the advice of Wilson Your writing could pay the bills, son, But there'll never be much money In Clerihews, however funny. To avoid aspirations too nerdy, Doug suggests writing Limericks—thirty. Three-zero , he said, boy, not dirty! Subpoint four also piqued my interest. As far as I know, I'm the only person in the world who's had both Doug Wilson and Eugene Peterson as pastors, so one's thoughts on the other were kinda fun to read from that perspective.


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Good sense here about learning curves and taking criticism. Extrapolatable to many areas of life and learning. If I did fancy myself a writer, my four years of junior and senior high Latin and my two semesters of Koine Greek would be feeling pretty skimpy right now.

Writing as Life and Conversation — Doug Wilson // The Pastor Writer Podcast

As an editor, I feel decently enough attired in them. I tried a commonplace blog for a while. I'm just too lazy. Probably another big reason I'm not a writer. In conclusion, I muchly appreciated the bits that applied to me and didn't mind the bits that didn't. And I sure can generate a lotta words to say I'm not a writer, eh? Jul 09, Adam Ross rated it really liked it Shelves: Doug Wilson's book on writing is a lot of things, but boring is hardly one of them.

His trademark pithy style is in full force here something I haven't had so much fun with since A Serrated Edge. If you picked the book up hoping for some help on the mechanics of writing, you're sure to be disappointed, because Wilson's book is about the writing "life," and therefore has more to do with prep than enactment, principles rather than rules.

Much of it, in fact, is advice that needs to be applied ye Doug Wilson's book on writing is a lot of things, but boring is hardly one of them. Much of it, in fact, is advice that needs to be applied years before you sit down and put pen to paper - or more accurately to contemporary life, finger to keyboard. He emphasizes the importance of a lifelong love of reading and absorption of literature. While this isn't Wilson, I myself have often said that you are what you read, much like with what you eat. A diverse reading list is recommended Wodehouse is prevalent , from classical literature to the modern equivalent of the penny-dreadful, from dictionaries to books on language, history and economics.

A certain inquisitiveness and individuality of spirit is needed. The remainder of the book is geared toward keeping you from a headlong crash into either side of the road. Live in the world, don't just be a tourist. Keep a notebook of phrases, ideas and experiences that might be useful. Above all, avoid pretension. Don't use your knowledge and well-readed-ness to make it apparent you're well read. The only thing I found myself wishing for was. I've read a ton of books on writing, both on the mechanical and on the "life" end, and there wasn't a huge amount here you couldn't find somewhere else.

I know Wilson has a ton to contribute and does in many places , but I wanted more depth, more theological foundation that would root the writing life in Christ and the faith. Sometimes I thought the pith kept the discussion going much deeper and other times, was downright helpful in illustrating the point on the spot.

Still, well worth a read. Oct 08, Aaron Downs rated it it was amazing. This short book serves as a sort of discipleship manual for those who want to use words effectively, especially in writing. The suggestions given by this book serve to help one become a better writer, a better speaker, and a better reader. The directions that Wilson gives, if followed, produce a disciplined, yet delightful, development of diction.

Hot Tips for the Writing Life Wordsmithy is for writers of every sort, whether experienced veterans, still just hoping, or somewhere in between. Sorry but this item is currently unavailable.


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  • Please check back at a later stage. Writing Trails in American History. Writing Trails with Men of Science. Writing Trails with Great Composers. Particularly he encourages us to try some poetry. We need to get writing and keep writing until we are good at it. Use a moleskine to write down every delicious morsel of writing you find. Each of these chapters are broken into seven more points and then is summarised.

    In each book Doug Wilson gave many books that you could read to take your understanding further. It is well written how many writing books are actually well-written themselves? It sees the value of word-choice and reading. It pointed to many valuable books that could help improve your writing.

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    It reminds that to write like a great you have to be soaked in the writing of the greats. There wasn't actually much on writing. There was an over-emphasis on word choice. I was hoping that this might help me. I wanted to know how Christian authors choose titles, divide into chapters, balance research and writing, keep the prose from being dry and dusty.

    I am going to read other languages but is it honestly true that you need to have a working knowledge of Anglo-Saxon to be a successful writer? I find that hard to believe. If you find any let me know!