• Dan

#BookReview Stein on Writing


Bison by Dan 2021
Bison by Dan 2021


Howdy,

My eldest son and I just returned from an adventure in Yellowstone and the Tetons––it was AWEsome. Anyway, while on the trip, I finally finished a book I've been reading for, well, if I'm honest, about a year. I decided to finish it off during my downtime, and I did.

First off, don't let the fact I took my time reading Stein on Writing discourage you from picking it up yourself. Sol Stein crams more writerly wisdom into this relatively short volume than just about any book on writing I've ever read. Everything about the book is solid, from the advice to the examples.

Most books on writing are unsurprisingly written by authors. One thing that sets this book apart is that Stein was an author and an editor, so he is intimately familiar with both sides of the chopping block.

From about chapter 2 on, this book offers innumerable pearls of wisdom on all aspects of writing. For example, chapters 32 and 33 go into great detail about revision from triage to the nitty-gritty of tweaking sentences. A couple of other chapters really stand out as excellent–chapter 9 is all about suspense, and chapter 21 offers concrete advice on how to tighten up your writing by draining the bloat. This book has many other wonderful chapters and tidbits, making it a worthwhile read for writers of all skill levels.

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