Write Better Right Now – Book Review
Write better? We could all use a little help here and this book might be just what you need.
(Here is another book in our series: Best Books for Writers and Authors.)
Some books you read are like a raging bushfire. They start small, quickly get of control and then are all-consuming – you just can’t put them down.
This book, Write Better Right Now, by award-winning writer, speaker and teacher Mary-Kate Mackey was not that. Instead, it was a slow burn – a book that I just slowly and steadily plugged away at.
The Book: Mary-Kate Mackey, Write Better Right Now, Career Press, Wayne NJ, 2017
It’s not – in my view – beautifully and lyrically written. It didn’t inspire me to devour it. Instead, it’s steady, reliable and ginormously useful. This is a super-practical book filled with a proud collection of strategies for making your words strut and dance their way off your page.
It includes such favourites as:
- Story Arcs – the basic building block of quality fiction flowing from start to drama and to an unexpected close
- The Hero’s Journey – everyone’s old favourite simple and easily share
- Story Structures – include ten wonderful ways to organize your thoughts
How to Edit Your Book
It also includes four notable chapters on editing. Ironically, and often this happens, I wasn’t that interested in reading about editing. In fact, my reading stalled when I reached this section. I waited a week and even took the book back to the library only to be re-selected over two months later ready to consume the ‘edit’.
This time I was ready. They say the teacher shows up when the student is ready. Mmm… In particular, I had a book-writing client who was approaching the editing stage and I needed some arrows to add to my quiver. And I’m glad I did!
The editing section includes:
- The Big-Picture Edit – love the Spaghetti Strands as a way to review and remind yourself of the key threads you’re wanting to share
- The Medium-Focus Edit – how to strengthen and shoebox your paragraphs including some powerful verbs to up your ante
- Pointer Sentence – given I have no formal training in writing or editing this was a revelation – use signposts, springboards and transitions
- The Close-Up Edit – includes some picky punctuation notes
Buy this if you want to Write Better
Buy this and read it if you want specific practical tips to boost your writing. It might be best suited to beginners and intermediate writers and authors.