Friday, May 1, 2015

Beyond the Style Manual: Get to the Point / Stefanie Spangler Buswell

Note: I've been told this book will be on a Kindle Countdown deal starting today. Assuming my information is good, now would be a good time to click on one of the buy links if you're interested.



Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Non-Fiction

Approximate word count: 14-15,000 words

Availability
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store

Author:

Stefanie Spangler Buswell has a bachelor of arts from Western Illinois University, and she tried out a few other careers before settling down to read books for a living. Books and reading have always been her passion. So she's excited to be a part of creating great books.
Stefanie lives in central Illinois with her husband and daughter. She is currently the executive publisher assistant and a line editor at Red Adept Publishing. When she's not editing, she enjoys gardening, knitting, and forcing others to read her favorite books.”

Description:

A no-nonsense guide for authors interested in taking their writing to the next level, Get to the Point offers clear, simple tips for tightening your sentences, improving your story’s pacing, increasing tension, and generating a more entertaining voice. Its techniques will aid you in strengthening awareness of unwanted habits, gaining clearer understanding of unnecessary description, and informing solid strategies for concise, powerful prose.”

Appraisal:

Get to the Point is one of three short books in a series written by members of the editing team at Red Adept Publishing. It is also the one in the series covering subjects that are pertinent to everyone who writes. Much of the discussion applies to the office worker drafting emails to their boss and co-workers along with the storyteller spinning what they hope is the next bestseller. (Even lowly book reviewers can use this stuff.)

The subjects covered are the things everyone who writes struggles with to tighten their prose. Two of my pet peeves as a reader and reviewer are redundancy and telling the reader things they don't need to know. Both these get coverage along with the use of metaphors, avoidance of headhopping, and several others.

There are three positive aspects of the book that especially stood out. The use of examples, both before and after, so the reader can compare and see how the suggestions strengthen the writing. An understanding that in writing there are few concrete rules, only rules of thumb. The author discusses possible exceptions and when breaking the “rule” might make sense. Last, a quiz to self assess how well the lessons have stuck. For those who are curious, I scored my results a grade of B-(--). After some practice and a re-read (or ten) I'm sure I can raise my grade to a solid B. Maybe better.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

1 comment:

Stefanie Spangler Buswell said...

Thanks for the review, Big Al!