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Robert’s Rules of Writing by Robert Masello

Are you ready to work on your writing techniques? This book will help you do it in easy-to-swallow doses. Robert’s Rules of Writing is subtitled: “101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know. On the back cover, there is a second subtitle: “But No One Has Ever Told You.”

Masello is a prolific professional writer, and he makes no bones about the fact that writing is work. Each rule is about two pages long, great for those of us with short attention spans. The first rule shocked me out of my socks: “Burn your journal.” After I recovered, I read on. “If you’re serious about writing—burn your journal and get to work.” His point is that journaling has its place, but, if you want to turn out publishable material, you have to plan, research, and organize as you write. Journaling might give you ideas, but it will not get your work published.

Every rule is useful, although some may go against what you have been taught. There is no “filler.” I read about half the book in one sitting. Then, I decided to read one every day to keep Masello’s “get real” advice uppermost in my mind. At first, I thought it was just for laughs, but he is serious about sharing with other writers the techniques and attitudes that have worked for him.

The book is not for beginners. In the introduction, Masello states that he assumes that you “know the basic principles already and that you don’t need a lecture on how to feel good about yourself.”

Check it out on Amazon. Sample the book using the “Look Inside” feature. Complete table of contents is shown, plus sample chapters.

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3 Responses to Robert’s Rules of Writing by Robert Masello

  1. Cecelia Lester June 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Emily,
    I sat through a workshop given Marlene Bagnull. I purchased her book. I enjoyed it more than any other book on writing.

  2. Emily Akin June 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I think you’re talking about Write His Answer, aren’t you? I liked it, too. It’s one you read over and over. There’s a brief review in one of my earlier blog posts: http://emilyakin.com/write-his-answer-by-marlene-bagnull/.

  3. Marie DisBrow June 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    My favorite book on writing is The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes. It’s encouraging to know that other, even famous writers have their writing fears. It also helps to learn how they conquer them.

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