Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review of The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque

As social media continues to clamber for snippets over style, our writing is losing adequate structure, spelling, and sense. Not convinced? Consider endless “acceptable” texts, tweets, and posts on social media sites such as, “When r u going 2 be ther?”

Are you cringing, yet?

I can attest to the fact that texting has weakened my grammar skills.

Thankfully, Paula LaRocque’s The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well (Marion Street Press 2003), arrived at my doorstep last month, warning me to watch my wording and not give up on creativity. It emphasizes the fact that as crucial as concise writing is, it need not sacrifice style. Word as art is alive and well - one just needs to choose to pick up a pen and paint.

Admittedly, as the written word shifts from flowery and flaunting to purposeful, I feel a tinge of sadness, as I am personally drawn not only to the classics, but classic forms of writing. But change is an ever present part of life, and, as a writer, I need to learn and embrace this new direction.

Should you read The Book on Writing, even if you are not a professional writer?


We all desire effective communication skills, don’t we?

One added benefit to this book extends past the written word to the spoken. This book has me reconsidering how I approach conversation. Time to ditch lengthy, “wordy” replies for concise, “relevant” ones.

Chapter 19 energized me the most, perhaps, as it focuses on the importance of considering how written words sound once spoken. It is a tactic I use in my own writing and one I personally feel is sorely overlooked or unfamiliar to many writers.

Personally, LaRocque’s work will remain within arm’s reach whenever I sit down to write. From debunking writing myths to simple reminders on punctuation, this book is an asset to any writer’s (bloggers, you are included in this, too!) library.

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