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Keys to Great Writing

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  190 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Keys to Great Writing

Empower your writing! Keys to Great Writing covers every aspect of the craft, showing you how to develop a writer's voice that is unique, precise, and effective.

From grammar rules to revision strategies, you'll find the crucial information you need in short, easy-to-browse sections that enable you to hone your own signature writing approach. No more wa
Paperback, 262 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by Writer's Digest Books (first published May 1st 2000)
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Natalie Walters
Dec 04, 2015 Natalie Walters rated it really liked it
I was debating whether this should be a 3-star or 4-star book. For me, personally, it's probably a 3.9 as the last half of the book is mainly written for technical or business writers. However, there's a wealth of information in the front half of the book that applies to writers in general.

The book is broken down into three parts: Keys to Great Writing; Elements of Composition; and Drafting and Revising. The first five chapters were the most helpful to me as a reminder of how the written word c
Jul 31, 2011 Kony rated it really liked it
Solid tips on big-picture and small-picture, form and content, process and product. Fairly engagingly written and well organized. (I might not have placed the topics in this order, but it's laid out clearly enough that you can find what you want.)

My main gripe is that, like most books on writing, it commits a bunch of the flaws it warns against. I have excruciatingly high standards, though. (Which is arguably legit: if you're writing a book on writing, you'd better write it awesomely. Right?)
Feb 19, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite "How-to" writing book. It is easy to reference, the author's voice isn't dry and discouraging, and he emphasizes action, conciseness, precision, and practice. I actually gained many specific and useful NEW ideas about writing from this book. I appreciate his professional and creative approach.
Titus Hjelm
Absolutely essential reading for any writer. Tackles complex topics in simple language--just as the reader should after reading this!
Stephen Hiemstra
Jan 31, 2016 Stephen Hiemstra rated it it was amazing
Seminary taught me many lessons, many of which took the form of words. Of course, many words in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin were entirely new to me. But even in English seminary gave me new words to express ideas which were previously unformed and unattended. Writers may find themselves similarly challenged in Stephen Wilbers[1] book: Keys to Great Writing.

What are the keys here? Wilbers lists five keys: economy, precision, action, music, and personality. Let me say a few words about each.

Justin Y. O'Donnell
Aug 14, 2015 Justin Y. O'Donnell rated it really liked it
Many writers on the blogoshpere have probably heard of Strunk and White’s Element’s of Style, but I bet most of you have never read Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers.

keystogreatKeys to Great Writing was recommended to me by a lawyer. He came to America from Egypt and told me this book helped him immeasurably. At the time, I was preparing to start a double major in history and English at college. Judging by my course outline, I knew I had a voluminous portion of written material waiting fo
Jul 31, 2008 Danna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English & Creative Writing Students, Writers - Struggling and Established
Recommended to Danna by: Writer's Digest (Special Offer)
Keys to Great Writing was a free offer with purchase of a Writer's Market membership in 2003. Stephen Wilbers' writing guide came with a handy Roget's Super Thesaurus, which I have also used often (but not abused) in my poetry, music articles, and reviews. There was a lot I skipped in this handy guide the first time I read it, but I'm making up for it now. It's proving to be a great copy editing guide. I have the original hardback version, and would gladly purchase the latest (2007) paperback ...more
Matt Burgess
May 05, 2010 Matt Burgess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for anyone that would like to improve their writing. Stephen Wilbers walks us through researched techniques and tips that will enable you to communicate more effectively with written word. He also challenges the reader with exercises dispersed at the end of each chapter that allow you to practice these techniques as you go.

Writing is one of the four ways we communicate and therefore I recommend this book as an excellent tool for improvement.
Sep 13, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
This is a great book for anyone who is writing ANYTHING (pretty much anyone in this world right now.) I'd give it a 5 stars, but I can't say that it was completely engrossing considering the subject.
Robert L.
Very good on writing. It talks about how to structure sentences, how to give emphasis, and how to edit. The examples are good. However, the materials are presented in a manner more technical than I would have preferred. The book could have been written in a lighter style.
Jan 31, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it
Shelves: evergreen
Of all the writing books I've read, this one was the least-bad :) It's very pragmatic and the checklists in the appendices are worth the $8 or so I paid for it.
Eva Blaskovic
Feb 16, 2012 Eva Blaskovic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book. Stephen Wilbers has a great tone and useful advice for writers about writing well. It's one of my favourite writing books of all time.
Mark Hiser
Jun 12, 2011 Mark Hiser rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
A practical and readable book on writing well
Phil Obi
A wonderful book on how to write well. I enjoyed it, and will return to it frequently as a reference.
Sep 10, 2014 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Surprisingly helpful and instructive book even for experienced writers.
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“If you want your style to be energetic and lively, take the most direct route and use the most energetic and lively part of speech in the English language: verbs.” 0 likes
“Have something to say and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.” 0 likes
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