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Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,629 ratings  ·  390 reviews
One of America's most influential writing teachers offers a toolbox from which writers of all kinds can draw practical inspiration.

"Writing is a craft you can learn," says Roy Peter Clark. "You need tools, not rules." His book distills decades of experience into 50 tools that will help any writer become more fluent and effective.

WRITING TOOLS covers everything from the mo
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Little, Brown and Company
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,629 ratings  ·  390 reviews

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بثينة العيسى
لهذا الكتاب أهمية خاصة. فبعد صدور "لماذا نكتب" و"الزن في فن الكتابة"، صرنا أكثر مقدرة على الحديث عن الكتابة بصفتها صنعة، ومناقشة أدواتها بصفتها احتمالات متاحة أمام الكاتب، ينبغي عليه أن يختار منها ما يتوافق مع نصّه وفق شروطه الفنية. أعتقد بأن الكتب العربية التي تتناول هذا الموضوع نادرة جدًا، وكثير منها يسطّح المعالجة أكثر مما يجب. روي بيتر كلارك يستنبط أدواته من النموذج ولا يسقط النموذج على أدواته. إن الأدب هو دائمًا سابق على التنظير في الأدب، ولكن هذا لا يلغي الأهمية البالغة لكتابٍ مثل هذا، إذ ...more
Jay Cruz
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
Before Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer became an actual book, the tools were a series of blog posts Roy Peter Clark wrote over at The version I've read were those original 50 blog posts collected in PDF form. You can find all the original collected posts here and if you want to you can download the PDF from my Dropbox folder here.

From what you can see on the actual book's table of contents there are some differences from the the names of the tools and how it
عبدالرحمن عقاب
كتاب جيّد، مفيد إذا ما فهم كأدوات لا كقواعد وقوانين.
يستحقّ هذا الكتاب أن يُعرّب لا أن يترجم! وأقصد بذلك أن يتمّ إعادة إنتاجه من قبل أحد الكتاب "الإبداعيين" بأمثلةٍ عربية. لأنّها ستكون أبلغ في أثرها، وأوضح في بيانها.
استفدتُ منه بضعة أفكار عملية، وأظنّ أنّ غيري سيجد فيه أكثر من ذلك أو أقلّ، كلّ حسب احتياجه والأداة التي تهمّه أو تنقصه.
Douglas Wilson
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wordsmithing
This was a very fine book on writing. Some really shrewd wisdom in this thing. One of my favorites is this: Choose words the average writer avoids but the average reader understands. Rarely used words are not the same thing as unknown words.
morning Os
May 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I am an international student who had never been surrounded by native English speakers until the age of 22. I ended up studying humanities in an American phd program. Imagine how stressful writing is for someone like me. I have been struggling to acquire the instinct and intuition you guys have when you judge "good" and "bad" writings. This book is helping me a lot understand, step by step, what constitutes good English sentences, paragraphs and chapters. The examples are brilliant. They not onl ...more
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend for anyone who wants inspiration & splendidly helpful tools for polishing your writing! It even has sections for dealing with that nagging critic in our heads and how to handle negative criticism from others.

"The receptive writer must convert debate into conversation. A debate ends with a winner and a loser. A conversation can conclude with both sides learning, and a promise of more good talk to come."
Marwa Eletriby
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
الحقيقه بتحمس للكتب الصادرة عن تكوين
لانها بطريقه ما مُنتقاه أو في نوع من الفائدة ولو كانت مجرد تسليط الضوء على نقاط ما ممكن أكون عرفتها قبل كده
ابالنسبه للكتاب ده - أول جزء شعرت انه محتاج تركييز - في الأجزاء الأخرى دونت بعض الملاحظات
واحتفظت بها عندي
فكامل الامتنان
مرام الجبيل
آخر ما كتبه كلارك في كتابه هذا "حظاً سعيداً ، و استمر في الكتابة" بعدها ستشعر بمصافحة يده ثم يبتعد عنك تاركاً عدّة الأدوات في يدك
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What is the book about?
"Think of writing as carpentry, and consider this book your toolbox. You can borrow a writing tool at any time"

Cool. How should I use these tools?
"Do not try to apply these tools all at once"

What's the best tool of them all?
"The most powerful tool on your workbench is oral reading"

So these tools will make me sound smarter?
"The writer cannot make something clear until the difficult subject is clear in the writer's head. Then, and only then, does she reach into the writer'
عبداللطيف القرين
مفيد، لكن ترجمته متوسطة.
Mashael Alamri
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كتاب ممتاز لتتعرف على بعض الاستراتيجيات المساعدة في الكتابة أو لتتذكر تلك التي تعرفها. ولكن أي علم تتلقاه بدون تمرين سيبقى حبيس عقلك أنصحكم بالممارسة مع كل استراتيجية كتابة جديدة تتعلمونها.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sabbatical-reads
Clark's book is about more about style than content or correctness. And the 50 strategies are so practical, readable, entertaining, and genuinely helpful that writing with “style” becomes just as substantial and reachable a goal as writing good content with correctness.

That's fantastic. The book gets the fifth star, though, for its outstanding structure/organization. Clark has built this book like a fractal image: Its pattern and value is the same from far as from near, and it’ll make you a bett
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding book for anyone who writes or wants to be a writer. I attended two seminars put on by the author at the Tucson Festival of Books, and new immediately I had to have this book.

It's broken down into four parts...Nuts and Bolts; Special Effects; Blueprints; and Useful Habits. From the 4 subtitles, you can see it goes beyond just good grammar and proper usage. It is designed to not only help your writing, but improve your writing habits and give you new ways to think about your writing
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is essential reading for every beginning writer. Roy Clark provides the writer fifty tools with which to improve her craft. The chapters are short, informative, and funny and written in a style to illustrate a particular tool. He also provides brief exercises at the end of each chapter—not just writing, but cool exercises like observing people—to spur your thinking or to help increase your understanding.

The passage that resonated with me was his advice to not implement everything in t
Sharon Orlopp
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Roy Peter Clark does a phenomenal job breaking down the techniques of writing into 50 key strategies. He provides literary examples to demonstrate the techniques and closes each chapter with practical suggestions.

Each chapter is bite-size, snackable content that got my writing wheels turning. The headers and taglines are memorable and I found myself writing notes in the margin and highlighting a lot of the book.

Clark's analogies stand out---comma is a speed bump; semi-colon is a rolling stop; co
Heba Ajamieh
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
موضوعات الكتاب مهمة
ولكن الشرح مطول
والأمثلة لم تكن بالدقة المطلوبة والشرح الواضح ..
ربما لأنه بالأصل كتاب مترجم..
الكتاب كبير ..من الجيد الاحتفاظ به كمرجع عند الحاجة.
"أدوات الكتابة" لمجموعة من المترجمين العرب، جاء هذا الكتاب مخالفا لتوقعاتي وفاقدا لروح الترجمة، قد يكون السبب كثرة الإقتباسات المنقولة والمترجمين كذلك.

إذا كان الهدف معرفة استراتيجيات هؤلاء الكُتّاب فلابأس من الإستفادة والتزود بالمهارات الكتابية، أما أن نُطبقها ككتاب عرب فالمأخذ الوحيد الذي أراه هو أن ال ٤٩ استراتيجية كُتبت في الأصل بلغتها الأم وهي الإنجليزية، فلا يمكن إسقاط أغلب قواعدها على لغتنا العربية التي بدورها تختلف تماما بتركيبها اللغوي والنحوي والبلاغي، إضافة إلى أساليبها الفنية في استخد
الكتاب قيم جدا ، يحوي عصارة التجربة الأدبية لمؤلفه روي بيتر كلارك، نلاحظ فيه الطريقة العلمية المنظمة، التي يدرس فيها مؤلفو الغرب كتبهم دراسة مجهرية دقيقة وكأنها تجرية علمية تحتاج لبيئة ومخبر ومحاولات، وهذا مايميزهم ويميز أعمالهم ، يدرسونها منطقيا ومشاعريا وواقعيا، تنبع أهمية هذا الكتاب، من أنه منهج تعليمي متكامل وثر ّ، يغنيك عن كثير من كتب التنظير والنقد، ويضعك على المحك العملي فورا، ذلك لمن يريد بصدق تقييم تجربته الأدبية، ومعرفة إلى أين وصل فيها.
،الكتاب يقرأ عدة مرات، وفي كل مرة يقرأه فيها، سوف
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've read so many books about writing that I'm inevitably jaded anytime I pick up a new one. Well, I'm pleased to say that the rather generically-titled Writing Tools knocked out all my expectations. It's a bit bloody good.

Admittedly, this is because it acts as a cliff's notes version of manymany other writing books. Roy Peter Clark swipes the best advice from Natalie Goldberg, Dorothea Brand, John Gardner et al, and boils down their wisdom into short, snappy articles. This is a great book to re
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book does what its title suggests, meticulously presents all the tactics that are often used by professional and savvy writers. With a succinct and informative table of contents, this book can serve as a dictionary of writing, readers can locate what tactics they are interested in, explore it without reading the book cover to cover ( although the book is good enough for you to do so). Introducing from the basic knowledge of sentence structure to the board field of writers' habits, the author ...more
بثينة الإبراهيم
الكتابة مثل العضلة، تحتاج ممارسة الرياضة لتقوى ويبرز شكلها، وهذا الكتاب يقدم أدوات تعين في تحقق ذلك كثيرًا. على أن هذه الأدوات لا تقتصر جدواها على من يودون كتابة القصة أو الرواية فحسب، بل تفيد أولئك الذين يكتبون التقارير والتحقيقات الصحفية والمقالات، كما أنها مفيدة جدًا للمترجمين، فيما يتعلق بالصياغة، لصقل الأسلوب وتلميعه ومنحه وهجًا...
Sotiris Makrygiannis
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: internet, kindle
A nice book, full with 50 techniques on how to write a book.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Roy Peter Clark's tools are all helpful reminders or ideas. These are the most helpful:
Have A Mission Statement - for your piece and writing life.
Gold Coins - reward your reader along the way.
Build Work Around a key questions - what is the purpose, the why.
Save String - you can reuse or re-purpose previous writings, even if they weren't used.
Build A Ladder - move up and down from the concrete to the abstract.
Choose a number - one is truth, two is division, three is inclusion, more than thre
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every so often in life you come across something that makes you pause and think, "Okay, this is really something. This is how it's done." Sometimes it's a movie, like The Matrix with all it's dazzling special effects, stylish art, and mysterious story. Sometimes it's a new technique like the Fosbury Flop at the 1968 Olympics, stealing the show and changing how everyone does the high jump from then on. Sometimes it's whatever you call it when you release a seminal rock album like Sgt. Pepper's an ...more
Science (Fiction) Comedy Horror and Fantasy Geek/Nerd
Numerous useful utensils and advice for the conception, rough drawing and fine-tuning of creative works

Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

Precise, compact and refined with an adequately equal chapter length, Clark delivers a well-filled tool case with tools for big and small projects. Whether for non-specialists, hobbyists or contemporaries who have turned their passion into a profession. Any likely target group can learn s
Dan Richter
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english, self-help
Das beste Buch zum Thema Schreiben, das ich bisher gelesen habe. (Gut, viel mehr als fünf waren es bisher auch nicht.)
Statt mit starren Regeln voranzumarschieren, öffnet Clark seine Werkzeugkiste. Er beginnt mit dem scheinbar Einfachsten, zum Beispiel Wort-Reihenfolge oder das Verhältnis von Aktiv- und Passivkonstruktionen. Clark zeigt, wie Aufzählungen funktionieren und wann sie nicht funktionieren. Er zeigt, was passiert, wenn man diese Regeln aus Unvermögen bricht und vor allem, wie man sie g
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
توی کتاب هایی که تا حالا در مورد نوشتن خوندم، این بهترین بوده.
کتاب به چهار بخش تقسیم شده: نکات ریز، جلوه های ویژه، طرح ها و عادات خوب نویسندگی.
توی بخش اول یاد می ده چطور جمله بندی کنیم تا تاثیر دلخواه رو از نوشته خودمون به دست بیاریم. چطور تعلیق ایجاد کنیم. چطور جمله رو قوی تر و صریح تر کنیم. چطور از اشتباهات متداول اجتناب کنیم و مواردی مثل این.
توی بخش دوم در مورد سرعت نقل ماجرا، لحن گفتار، دیدگاه و مواردی مثل این صحبت می کنه. لحن نوشته توی نوشته های داستانی در برابر نوشته های غیرداستانی، نحوه
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love to read, and I love to write. I especially love to read about writing.

On my way back from a hockey game in Wilkes-Barre one night, I stopped for gas. On top of the gas pump I was using, sat this book. It was in rough shape - wet, discolored, etc. If it had been a book about anything else, I leave it right where it was. But since it was about writing, I took it home.

And I'm glad I did.

This book is on par with Strunk & White, "On Writing", and "Bird by Bird", as far as instructional wri
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I saw Roy Peter Clark speak at Teachers College last year during a professional development day focused on helping my students advance as writers. Although I walked away with a lot of fantastic ideas for my classroom, I was equally inspired as a writer myself to "raise the level" of my own writing. His book, Writing Tools, is fantastic and I would recommend it for any writer, but particularly for those in the midst of revision. It feels a little silly to put it on my "read" shelf, as I will cont ...more
Rebecca Clark
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How is this not required reading for all writers? All students? All teachers of writing? LOVED IT. Stealing so many this year...and the best part is you barely have to think of how you'll take his fantastic structure in each chapter and mold it into a mini-lesson pronto -- or keep right alongside you for writing conferences. STELLAR. Still hoping to run into him each summer we're in St. Pete.
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By many accounts, Roy Peter Clark is America’s writing coach, a teacher devoted to creating a nation of writers. A Google search on his name reveals an astonishing web of influence, not just in the United States, but also around the world. His work has erased many boundaries. A Ph.D. in medieval literature, he is widely considered one of the most influential writing teachers in the rough-and-tumbl ...more
“Everyone should read, we say, but we act as if only those with special talent should write.” 9 likes
“All of us possess a reading vocabulary as big as a lake but draw from a writing vocabulary as small as a pond. The good news is that the acts of searching and gathering always expand the number of usable words.” 5 likes
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