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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman May 10, 2017 - 4:04pm

Welcome to our new book club. In this club we'll be reading books about writing. We had a short list in another thread, and by pulling a name out of a hat, we picked our first book:

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

Here's an Amazon link.

The way we'll work this, we'll divide into chunks. So, starting immediately feel free to talk about anything from section 1 (Nuts and Bolts). After Sunday the 14th, we'll move on to section two, and so on. That'll give us a little more direction, and when we're reading something that has a more narrative flow, keep us from spoiling too much.

Get your copy, get to reading, and let's start talking about the nuts and bolts of this book.

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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman May 24, 2017 - 6:08pm

If you feel left behind, this book invites you to imagine the act of writing less as a special talent and more as a purposeful craft.

Book definitely opens with a strong art/craft statement. I tend to be with it, and I do feel like over the last couple decades there has been a movement in writing away from the idea of innate talent and towards the idea of writing as a learn-able craft. Do you feel like that's shifted too, or is it just me? 

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minkleyore from North Carolina-but lives in Portland, OR is reading Faraway Places July 19, 2017 - 2:34pm

Seeing as how my critiques have improved over time, I would completely agree. I'm sure there are those who have a leg up on writing due to their imaginations and whatnot. But I think it's more of an innate love of writing that's more important, and a wanting to improve.

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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman July 19, 2017 - 6:50pm

I'm with you. There's no discounting some level of built-in talent, but it seems tough enough out there that built-in talent just isn't going to be enough.

For reference, the first exercise in this book is:

1. Pick up a newspaper.

2. Read it with a highlighter. Highlight the subjects and verbs.

3. Do the same with your writing.

4. Do the same with something you're working on now.

5. The next time you struggle with a sentence, rewrite by putting the subject and verb at the beginning. 

The idea being that clear writing begins sentences with subjects and verbs, which is a pretty common practice in newswriting. 

Certainly not an "all the time" rule, but seems like good practice to keep in mind where you subjects and verbs are seated. Anyone tried it? Results?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 27, 2017 - 12:32am

Is the book club still a thing?

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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman July 27, 2017 - 2:56pm

Totally. You wanna read something? I'm game for something new, see if we can get things going.

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Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated August 1, 2017 - 12:34am

https://smile.amazon.com/Allie-Brosh-Unfortunate-Situations-Mechanisms/dp/B01FMVZHB8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501572833&sr=8-1&keywords=hyperbole+and+a+half

I'd be down, but maybe we could do something different? Always seems to be super fucking heavy stuff.

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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman August 1, 2017 - 11:14am

Yeah, definitely. I love this book. I'll start a new thread if you're game!

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Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated August 2, 2017 - 12:53am

Sure. Details?

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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman August 6, 2017 - 3:32pm

We could set a timeline, talk about the book a little. It seems mostly spoiler-free as books go. Other details you're thinking that I'm missing?

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Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated August 7, 2017 - 11:13pm

New thread?