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100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Updated): Proven Professional Techniques for Writing with Style and Power
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100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Updated): Proven Professional Techniques for Writing with Style and Power

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,118 ratings  ·  140 reviews
The classic text on writing well, now refreshed and updated.

This is the one guide that anyone who writes--whether student, businessperson, or professional writer--should keep on his or her desk. Filled with professional tips and a wealth of instructive examples, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing can help solve any writing problem.

In this compact, easy-to-use volume you'll f
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Berkley Books (first published October 1st 1985)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  1,118 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Sharon Orlopp
Short, pithy and very helpful tips on improving writing skills.

Many tips stood out for me including:

1. Make yourself likeable
2. Expand your vocabulary
3. Improve spelling
4. Eavesdrop
5. Write in your head
6. Choose a time and place to write
7. Talk about what you're writing
8. Set a tone and maintain it
9. Write in pyramid style; put 5 W's in first paragraph; key point is at the top
10. Use topic sentences at the beginning and end of paragraphs
11. Keep paragraphs short
12. Mimic spoken language
Josh Butler
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paired together with Stephen King's On Writing and Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, you can't really do a whole lot better when it comes to writing advice. The common sense advice appearing in this book, as well as in the other two books, is fundamental to good writing. But it's all simple. It's all easy to understand, and chances are you've heard a lot of this stuff before via other sources. What makes this book unique is its quick-reference style. You can read a short clip of text, an ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
If I had to pick only one book on writing, this would be it.
Gabrielė Bužinskaitė
“The fewer words you use to express an idea, the more impact that idea will have.”

The book gives you exactly what its title promises. A list of hundred ways to improve your writing. But the ways are vague and overly summarised.

The author offers tips from researching to publishing. He tackles not only the writing basics like the choice of the words and grammar but also skills crucial for the writer, like time management.

Yet. It’s clear that the author’s focus was on writing as many tips as he can
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short, helpful book to improve your writing. It has a lot of tips, suggestions, and advice. I felt like it was geared toward more of the academic side than the creative side, but they are related. The only reason I deducted a star is because I knew a lot of it already (I’ve read numerous books on writing and am getting a MFA in it). If you’re new to writing, I’d recommend this book!
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are the highlights that I'll review now and then:

Before you write, track down the bits of information you are going to need.

Choose a time and place
It’s getting started that I abhor.
Can you lock the door? Turn off the phone? You will get more writing done in an undisturbed hour than you would in a dozen ten-minute spurts.

Do writing exercise
Just as you need to get your body warmed up to run, you need a little writing exercise before starting a writing project. A writing exercise can
Kris - My Novelesque Life

100 Ways to Improve your Writing is a simple and useful look at the way to improve your writing, no matter what you write. If nothing else, Provost reminds you of practicing your writing. I wrote down some of his lists just to give me a continuing nudge.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing, linguistics
Even though Gary Provost wrote 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing ‘way back in 1985, his tips are still relevant today. The tips are short and illustrated with examples, demonstrating good writing while explaining good writing. While the internet outdates such ideas as owning a dictionary and thesaurus; good grammar and spelling, ruthless editing, creating a strong beginning, and using powerful verbs and nouns will always be essential to good writing.

True to the claim on the cover, this book funct
Christian Jespersen
I don't know why, but I love books like these.
The Elements of Style was terrific, and if there are more books like these, please do recommend them to me.

Gary Provost has divided the book into eleven different areas, which you can improve your writing. Everything from style, grammar, puntion and everything in between.

Sentencens like "You must know what job you need done, before you can pick the tools to do it" and "Only teenagers are justified in believing that each and every statement one utter
Jelle Postma
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is your go-to book when you want to get better at writing in general. Gary Provost gives you the best tips about writing clear, concise and readable texts.

Provost discusses multiple ways to enhance your writing style and guides you into the process of how to start writing anything (books, articles, ad copy)

If you are a student, marketer, (copy)writer, journalist or just interested in writing, read it.
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairly quick audio book, Provost combines humor with teaching as he gives writing themed tips and advice. I appreciated the suggestions of books and websites like to help with writing and the narrator was very clear and easily understandable.
I would suggest to get this to use as a helper so you can jump to whatever writing problem you're having, rather that listening to it at double speed as I did.
Nov 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent tool for the new and the experienced writer. 100 great things you can do to improve your writing. A lot of the suggestions tell you why they are important. I listened to the book, but it is necessary to have the Kindle or hardcopy version, as I find myself randomly looking through the book. It's good to hear or read these on a regular basis, until they are well learned. ...more
Matthew Bunk
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievable book on the craft of writing.

Yes. Slightly dated; it was written 30+ years ago. And yet, it's still so good.

The first line of the book is, "This book will teach you how to write better ransom notes."

That's gold.

If you're a full time writer, read it.
If you only write emails, read it.
If you don't write anything but have to formulate sentences to order at McDonald's ever once in a while, read it.
Kara Soylular
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
I think the book gives practical, tangible advice.

It is a no-nonsense guide and cuts straight to heart of various aspects; psychological trick, resources, grammatical rule, style, etc..

I would rate it a 4 1/2 if could be. It is not quite a 5 in my opinion, it is not stellar in where reader will instantaneously hone their ability (and not many things, anyhow will achieve of this. I broke one of his tips, with the parentheses. Two actually, with the mitigating commas).

There are parts that are s
Newton Nitro
100 Ways to Improve Your Writing | Signet, 1985, 175 páginas | Lido de 05.06.16 a 06.06.16

Um guia para todos aqueles que escrevem, escrito por Gary Provost

Curtinho e direto, muito recomendado em blogs gringos para escritores. É um daqueles livros que fala o que você já sabe mas de uma maneira diferente, e no caso do Gary, muito engraçada!

Todo escritor sofre para começar uma sessão de escrita, o difícil é começar (achei bem legal o Gary falar isso, eu achei que era
I've thumbed through this book often over the past few years so I feel confident in saying I've "read it" but just haven't done so cover to cover, in order.

The book provides lots of ideas on improving your writing. All the 100 ways are able to be read in a few minutes at a time. This gives a student the ability to read one or two items and immediately put them to use on whatever they happen to be writing. What's also nice is that the majority of these ideas can be used on any kind of writing; f
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The amount of essays I have yet to write on my college journey prompted me to pick this book up.

For the most part, I did enjoy reading it - the writing style was good, the chapters were short, concise and straight to the point. With each and every tip, he would also show the reader the correct and the incorrect way to do it, so you can see it first hand how you're supposed to apply the tip in your own writing.

But when it comes to the advice? That's where the book, in my opinion, falls short. E
Cher Han (Andy) Lau
The introduction tells everything: "This book will teach you how to write better ransom notes".

This book is small and lightweight but did not miss out any heavyweight content. The English used in the book are beautiful yet easily understandable for an ESL student like myself. All the tips are practical and helpful. However, like the author said, they are tips, advice and not laws, so shouldn't be followed strictly.

You can start using every tips almost instantly, and you feel like you are recha
Kevin Oliver
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be every writer’s craft bible. It should be on your desk or next to your computer and constantly revisited. Books by Lamott and King are great for inspiration and reminders, but this will actually help improve your craft. If you are a beginning writer, you need Provost, Zinsser’s “On Writing Well,“ and Clark’s ”50 Writing Tools.” Goldberg has a middle-ground book, part-memoir part-craft, that is also helpful.
Holly Davis
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick, concise and yet comprehensive read on how to improve your writing, including tips on self-editing, common grammar mistakes, developing your style, and even overcoming writer's block. Although I knew a lot of what was presented here, it was a great refresher for me and will be an easy book to reference in the future. ...more
Peregrine 12
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very useful book - if you use it. Concise, too.
Natasha D'Cunha
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: learning
Excellent, well written and hilarious. Loved it.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this book incredibly useful and insightful. When I found out that this book was first published in 1985, I was afraid that most of it contents would be severely outdated and, therefore, wouldn't be useful.
I was wrong.

I read a revised and updated edition published in 2019 and the editor did a great job when updating the author's writing to reflect our Internet and social media times and she did it without messing with the author's style.
Even though I can't remember where was it that I h
Andrea Huelsenbeck
I bought this book because writing instructor extraordinaire Margie Lawson recommended it.
My edition was printed in 1985, and the book examples used in 100 Ways are old. (Fortunately, so am I, and I remember the buzz those books earned at the time.) It was also in the baby days of personal computers, when very few writers owned one, and most everyone wrote their rough drafts by hand and their better drafts on a typewriter.
Gary Provost wrote articles for Writers Digest and 22 books, fiction and n
John Mark
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is really a tips book. I like that the author is constantly cautious about the book that it is not the one and only manuscript to solve your writing problems.

100 Ways To Improve Writing is easy to read. Gary Provost wrote with his playful tone that creates a friendly environment to me to understand his propositions. Although it doesn’t contain a huge amount of ground breaking tips I would expect in the first place. Instead it fulls of simple and sometimes basic tips I usually take them
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
**100 Ways to Improve Your Writing** by *Gary Provost* is from 1985 and has aged remarkably well. It's a set of rules, short and to the point. Some advice is dated and not relevant any longer – a couple of hints on how to acquire information and in which format to submit your work, mostly. Apart from that, the book talks about how to prepare for writing, how to structure texts, and goes down to details of grammar and punctuation. All of these things are well-structured, to the point, and come wi ...more
Jan Šimak
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very helpful and interesting book that helps you to improve your writing. It doesn't matter if you write books, articles, essays, emails or just to-do notes, this is the book you want.
The author offers many suggestions, advice and insights not only for writing, but also for creativity, writer's block, grammar and more.
However, I'd welcome more elaboration on some issues that the author dealt with. Some of the topics were just too short without any detailed explanation and lacking examples.
Tomas Vik
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of Gary’s tips is “Make yourself likeable”. And does he make a good job of it. The book describes the rules of both style and grammar in a way that’s easy to digest and down to earth. A much larger portion of the book is spent on style-related advice. That’s a good thing when tools like Grammarly and Hemingway app provide advanced grammar and composition checks.

The key takeaway from the book is the word Simplicity. Don’t write something in two words when one will do the job. Don’t add a sent
Dona Loves Books
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Instagram Review:

I read a lot of books on writing and most of those books cover how to write fiction in general. Books that can market themselves as such, but having something a little special to offer, a sub-topic or alternative organization, often sell better than their "average" counterparts--as long as they actually live up to their promise. This book--Gary Provost's 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing-- creates a brilliant little nugget of marketing in creating
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“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It's like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with the energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals - sounds that say listen to this, it is important.” 26 likes
“Hear how the use of the wrong word wakes you from your reading spell.” 6 likes
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