Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

Amazon Price: $15.99 $10.04 You save: $5.95 (37%). (as of January 22, 2018 2:00 AM – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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 most basic ("Tool 5: Watch those adverbs") to the more complex ("Tool 34: Turn your notebook into a camera") and provides more than 200 examples from literature and journalism to illustrate the concepts. For students, aspiring novelists, and writers of memos, e-mails, PowerPoint presentations, and love letters, here are 50 indispensable, memorable, and usable tools.

"Pull out a favorite novel or short story, and read it with the guidance of Clark's ideas. . . . Readers will find new worlds in familiar places. And writers will be inspired to pick up their pens." -Boston Globe

"For all the aspiring writers out there-whether you're writing a novel or a technical report-a respected scholar pulls back the curtain on the art." -Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"This is a useful tool for writers at all levels of experience, and it's entertainingly written, with plenty of helpful examples." -Booklist

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (January 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316014990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316014991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Customer Reviews

Very helpful book

 on December 28, 2017
By Adam Pitts
The book is filled with good advice and great examples that illustrate the 55 tools well. I like that the author encourages the reader to try and find ways to disagree with his advice. He helps you discover in what ways these tools can help you specifically as a writer. He takes commonly known rules of writing that have been heard over and over again and discusses them in a new way so I learned something about each tool discussed whether it was a wholly new idea to me or not.

Writing tools

 on January 6, 2016
By Wilbur W. Lewis
An excellent book with concert ideas for the aspiring author. Lots of vey good advise. “Get the name of the dog!”

Five Stars

 on September 7, 2017
By A
On tool 49 at the moment.


One person found this helpful.
 on May 25, 2015
By Charlotte
Love this book. A must have for any writers bookshelf.

Great tools for writers to lift their writing to a higher level

 on July 7, 2016
By Pam Brayton
I’m so glad I bought this book! Reading it and applying the tools has improved my writing exponentially. I love that Clark includes examples and that each chapter ends with exercises to help readers put the tools to the test. I’ve recommended this book to my fellow writers. It’s a must-have for all writers interested in honing their craft.

One of the best books on writing anywhere

 on June 1, 2014
By Joseph Brewer
Among his many talents, Roy Peter Clark is a superb teacher, and in Writing Tools, he breaks down 50 aspects of writing in digestible chunks. These nuggets go a long way in guiding the student through each phase of writing. Along with the Elements of Style and Bird by Bird, Writing Tools is invaluable to writers of all skill levels.

not "Very Good"

One person found this helpful.
 on September 25, 2014
By yogabear
This a great resource for writers. I knew I wanted to own a copy. The book was listed as in “Very Good” condition. I was disappointed with all the writing and underlining inside. I never write in my books so I was surprised by this. The writing was in pencil so I was able to erase it except for the name in ink on the inside cover. Still, I am happy to own the book.

An Absolute Reference Tool for ANY writer

 on January 31, 2014
By Bonita Watts
This reference tool is an absolute necessity for ANY writer, of any type information. Both the Content and Index sections serve as excellent “quick reference” tools for information in general as well as techniques to employ for specific impact, proofreading guidelines and symbols, and so much more! I got this for me, as well as for two granddaughters (one in college; the other college-bound). Both have indicated the book is absolutely indispensable (especially in conjunction with the other book I got for them: “A Manual for Writers”).

"Must Have" for every writer

9 people found this helpful.
 on January 31, 2010
By Sheri Grimes
Clark’s is one of the easiest-to-read, most helpful instructive writing books I’ve read. He covers “nuts and bolts” as well as tools to improve the quality of writing and good writing habits to cultivate. He includes helpful excercises at the end of each chapter. With short, concise chapters and clear examples, he makes each concept easy to grasp and implement. Something you will refer back to over and over. Not an exhaustive reference, but a good basic guide, and great for people who have trouble wading through technical grammar references.

Should Be Mandatory Reading for All Writers

 on November 19, 2013
By Billy and Zeny
This should be mandatory reading for all fiction and non-fiction writers. The small investment you make in this book will give you tools that will add to the quality of your writing for the rest of your life.

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