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A Writer's Coach: An Editor's Guide to Words That Work
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A Writer's Coach: An Editor's Guide to Words That Work

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  183 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
A practical, innovative step-by-step approach to the writing process from one of the most acclaimed writing coaches in the country

In A Writer�s Coach, Jack Hart�a managing editor at The Oregonian�shares the wisdom with which he has coached reporters to Pulitzer Prize�winning success. He gives invaluable advice on gathering ideas, writing theme statements and outlin
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Pantheon (first published 2006)
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Dec 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers, editors
Recommended to Scott by: nieman narrative editors' conference
I would like to have this book loaded on a computer chip and implanted in my brain. Then I could draw on it at will. And as a writer and editor, I would scale mountains and slay dragons and always return home a hero.
But such automatic success would eliminate the trying, failing, trying again and succeeding that is so rewarding if you are a writer or editor. You know you'll never know it all, but you keep learning to get as close as you can.
So what I'll do is just keep this book nearby. I'll d
Christopher Chelpka
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Writer's Coach teaches you how to improve the substance of your writing. It covers classic, Strunk & White categories like brevity, clarity, and color. But you’ll also learn how to improve the writing process itself. And good news! Going from idea to published piece is about method, not magic.

The book is well organized and easy to reference. In addition to an index, Hart provides summaries (“cheat sheets”) at the end of every chapter.

He writes with journalists first in mind, but his advic
Lorii Myers
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. I reread it everytime I do the final read through on my manuscripts. It's a great refresher that enables me to realign and focus on whether I am clearly and effectively making my point.

A great reference for non-fiction writers.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: about-writing
It was dumb luck I stumbled upon Jack Hart's book, A Writer's Coach (Pantheon Books 2006). I couldn't afford to hire an editor for my novel, but knew it needed help. There are hundreds (thousands?) of self-help books on this topic, so how was I to pick the one that would work for me? I personally own over a dozen, including Lukeman's First Five Pages, several by Donald Maass and several more by James Frey. While I did want one that specialized in self-editing, I also have quite a few of those--i ...more
Jerome Baladad
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another must-read book for writers (and those with lurking ambitions to make it as a writer in a very competitive world that tends to put down outsiders and beginners---unless you're lucky, persistent, disciplined and focused with your goals), this book hopefully will help you on improving your efforts to sharpen your tools in your craft continuously. After reading this, I'm beginning to believe that I have to keep on reading and understanding inputs from books like this so that I'll improve my ...more
Tee Jay
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking to write well
Jack Hart’s A Writer's Coach: An Editor's Guide to Words That Work is one of the best books on writing I have read. It is to the point, elegant, and has a lot of useful information packed into its pages. Most importantly, it is written in a way that is accessible and modern so that a reader feels like he or she is speaking with the writer. A Writer’s Coach is a welcome addition to any budding or professional writer, regardless of the genre being written.

Some of the material covered in this littl
Frank Anderson
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Writer’s Coach by Jack Hart, Pantheon Books
This book assumes that you want to read up on all of the components of writing. In approximately 270 pages Jack Hart covers everything from the method of writing on through the actual mechanics of thee process.
I bought this book, like many others, because as a younger person I failed to recognize the importance of being able to write correctly. I still struggle, but, with continued help, I believe I am getting better. One of the reasons is this bo
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This is a wonderful book for anyone who is interested in having their writing skill improved. Lots of useful insights and hints on how to make your words, sentences, and paragraphs more powerful and refreshing. Useful examples, humorous comments. Although Hart talks about the art of writing mainly from a journalist's point of view, many of the advices are applicable for various types of writing. Funny enough that it is the opposite of the indirect and passive approach scientists took
Victor Samuel
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, calling
Jack Hart did it well. He tells, and mostly shows, how a fine writing is done without unnecessary pain. Emphasised in journalism, his practical and humorous wit strikes most of writing features, from idea generation to the art of fine-tuning. I wish I had had read it at the beginning of my bachelor study. Get a copy soon. Your writing will never be the same!
Apr 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not a lot of new material if you've read other writing advice books, but it's organized well, and the first section, on organizing (non-fiction) writing projects before you start drafting is very good. Weirdly, organization and process are often neglected in this sort of book, so it's nice to see them treated well.
Rona Simmons
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully informative book on writing. Particularly helpful with editing. Full of examples for each of the author’s recommendations. One of the few books that I believe are worth owning in hardback. I want to highlight and underline and “star” to my heart’s content.
Liz Wager
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A first-rate, practical guide full of helpful tips and examples. Although it's mainly aimed at journalists this book will help anybody improve their writing. I found it less dated (and sexist) than Zinsser and more focused on the writing process (rather than just on polishing your style).
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well-written guide to writing, full of examples for every topic of import from color to clarity to process with helpful snapshots at the end of each chapter to review key points

Having completed this book, I should have composed an eloquent review.
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book had some good information in it. I checked it out from the library and took a few notes since I couldn't highlight and tab it up like I do with my own books, but I'd recommend it to other writers.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book provides tips for journalists, but I enjoyed the sections on force and brevity. I noticed an immediate improvement in my writing.
Sep 23, 2011 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended to me by the A&E editor and Seven Weekly. It's got a lot of excellent and practical writing strategies for freelancers and journalists.
Meghan Pinson
Nov 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: editing, writing
Worthwhile, useful. The chapters on brevity and force were thorough and direct; it would be good to have this on hand.
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
Solid, clear advice. I may need to buy this one.
Meryl Evans
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is one to read again.
Linden A.
Jan 26, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linden A. by: Merlin Mann
Recommended by Merlin Mann:
Mark Lewis
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Again, I did not finish the book. it's so dry, it reads like a textbook.
Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Maybe I have been reading too many "how to" books on writing. I didn't feel this one added much and it only deals with journalistic writing.
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've ever read on the craft of writing. And I've read Zinsser. Hart offers wisdom that can immediately improve your ability to put words on the page.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Very detailed tips on how to write well. The examples are good. But no major breakthrough ideas and so it was below my expectations.
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, 60-in-2011
The best technical book on writing I've evver read!
Not really inspiring, but exactly what I needed.
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Great advice from one of the country's foremost writing coaches (at The Oregonian). Super readable. Makes tons of sense.
Elizabeth Gatewood
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2016
Matt Caprioli
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2016
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Jack Hart was a managing editor at The Oregonian and has served as the newspaper's writing coach and staff development director. Formerly a professor of journalism at The University of Oregon, he has often lectured at Harvard's Niemann Conference for Narrative Journalism, and he teaches at writers' conferences throughout the country.
More about Jack R. Hart...

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“that a principal “obstacle to writing improvement is our tendency to dwell on either the final results or the mental origins of writing to the exclusion of the activity of writing, as if an empty gap separated writing from thinking.” 0 likes
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