Noble's Book of Writing Blunders: And How to Avoid Them
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Noble's Book of Writing Blunders: And How to Avoid Them

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Stay away from prose that is static, dusty, or too formal! Learn to energize your writing and make your words come alive! Author William Noble shows you that some of the worst mistakes come from sticking too closely to the rules. By learning which rules are okay to ignore, you will be able to remedy your errors and create the kind of writing that makes fiction and nonficti...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published December 14th 2006 by Writer's Digest Books
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Austin James
"Writing Blunders - and how to avoid them" by William Noble is a collection of 29 essays on the most common writing mistakes.

It's one of the better writing books I've read. Each essay is short (around 6 pages). This is helpful because the writer makes his point, gives examples, and explains how to correct the mistake.

There are several great points about this book (that impacted me). Here they are:

1. Writing is as much about hearing what you've written as it is about seeing what you've written. I...more
I bought this when I'd finished the other books I purchased on how to self-edit (Self-editing for Fiction Writers, How to Write the D*** Good Novel). It's summary had good ideas, things like Don't write for your eighty-grade teacher, Don't complicate the obvious, Don't add adverbs and adjectives to prettify your prose. Common sense reminders of what I should know but sometimes forget in the flurry of my own prose. After spending an hour with it, I decided the best ideas were the list on the dust...more
Each of the 29 blunders was covered in a chapter of 4-7 pages, which was long enough to address the issue and not too long as to make me close the book and not pick it back up. These blunders were basic, but the way he wrote about each one took it one step further. He didn’t only address point of view, slang, cliques, but also how each was perceived by the reader. Many of the blunders in this book he blames on laziness by the writer, but I also think a beginning writer faces the challenges he la...more
This book didn't tell me a lot I didn't know by high school -- then again, I've always paid attention in English -- but I think anyone would find something useful in it that they hadn't considered before. There is little in the book that I don't agree with. If every author read the section on unnecessary descriptors, I would be happy.

What is useful about the book, even if one already "knows" everything he's saying, is that reflecting on the specific techniques and devices can be inspiring. For e...more
Aubrey Hansen
An old review salvaged from my blog archives:

Though the title makes it sound like a simple rule book, Noble's Book of Writing Blunders primarily deals with the issue of style, of cultivating a writer's personal voice. The book encourages a liberal approach to traditional writing "rules" without disconnecting the reader; it calls for writing that is creative but not confusing, innovative but not intrusive. Noble accomplishes this by deliberating over twenty-nine common "blunders" inexperienced wr...more
Mangy Cat
Oct 24, 2008 Mangy Cat marked it as shelved-half-read
Shelves: non-fiction
I had to shelve this one because there are a lot of things in it that either 1. I know already; or 2. I don't agree with. :oP There are much better writing resources out there.

Noble's Book of Writing Blunders seems like Writers Digest's attempt at producing their version of "The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes" by Jack Bickham (which is excellent, by the way).
Abigail  Finfrock
Scanned most of it. It was going to confuse me more than help.
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