Tag Archives: The Glamour of Grammar

Win Help! for Writers

Roy Peter Clark is vice president and senior scholar at The Poynter Institute, a highly prestigious school for journalists.   He has taught writing at every level – from schoolchildren to college students and Pulitzer Prize winners.   A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes, he has authored or edited fifteen books about writing, including Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar.  

In Help! for Writers: 210 Soutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces (released today), Clark presents an “owner’s manaul” for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, while addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face.   In his engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem.   Out of ideas?   Read posters, billboards, and even grafitti.   Can’t bear to edit yourself?   Watch the deleted scenes of a film DVD, and ask yourself why these scenes were justifiably left on the cutting-room floor.  

Help! for Writers offers writers, new and old, young and experienced, 210 strategies for success!   Would you like to win a copy?   Thanks to the publisher (Little, Brown and Company), we’re giving 5 (five) copies away.   In order to enter this book giveaway contest, just post a comment below with your name and e-mail address, or send an e-mail message with this information to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .  (E-mail addresses will only be used to contact the winners.)   This will count as a first entry.

For a second entry, tell us exactly why you think this guidebook would be useful to you.   Is it because of the type of writing that you do?   Are you stuck in writing a novel or an article, etc.?   Let us know!  

In one way or another, we’re all writers, so this should be a useful addition to almost anyone’s library.

In order to enter this book contest, you must live in the continental U.S. or in Canada, and be able to provide a residential mailing address if you’re selected as a winner.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. box or to a business-related address.   You have until 12:00 Midnight PST on Saturday, November 15, 2011 to submit your entry or entries, so don’t delay!

We reserve the right to change the contest rules, or submission deadline, at any point, so it’s best to enter early…   We may choose the winners at random, or simply select five early entrants; you never know.   This is it for the “complex” contest rules.   

Good luck and good reading!  

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The Author’s Perspective

Roy Peter Clark wrote the 2010 bestselling book, The Glamour of Grammar, and on September 21, 2011, his new book will be released.  The new book is entitled Help! for Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces.   Mr. Clark joins us here for a guest post, answering a key question for us.

Joseph Arellano

JA:  Should you write the ending of your story first?  

RPC:  The paragon for this paradigm is J.K. Rowling, who has told the story many times that she began writing the seven-book Harry Potter series by writing the ending first.   Not the ending of the first book, mind you, but the ending of the seventh book!   She even teased her faithful readers with the news that the last word in the series would be “scar.”   She changed her mind.

It helped me to write to an ending for my 1999 newspaper serial novel “Ain’t Done Yet.”   The story, in 30 chapters, described a burned-out reporter hired to investigate a cult planning a terrorist attack for New Year’s Day 2000.   Max Timlin, the reporter, feared two things most of all:  lightning storms and high places.   So, of course, he would fight to the death with the villain on top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in a fierce storm.   Because I knew the big arc of the story, I could focus on the little arcs, those moments of surprise that reveal patterns, cliff hangers, and character.

I like the advice of a novelist (don’t remember his name) who said that writing fiction was like driving a car at night along a winding country road.   You don’t need to see all the way to your destination, as long as your headlights can illuminate a stretch of the road ahead.   In other words, if you can write your way to the end of a scene, you can build narrative momentum toward what’s coming next.

Interested in winning a copy of Help! for Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces?   If so, just return to this site on Wednesday, September 21st to see how you can win one of five (5) copies that we’re giving away!

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Coming Up Next…

Roy Peter Clark, author of the new guidebook Help! for Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces, answers a key question for us.

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