Book Review: Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy

This is NOT part of the Write 31 Days Challenge. 🙂

From Book Description

“Have you ever wished there were an advice columnist for writers, but one who didn’t take things so damned seriously? This unique writing guide pairs questions sent in by top contemporary essayists with hilariously witty answers and essays from acclaimed author Dinty W. Moore.”

Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy

My Comments

I am going to just going to come out and say that I am not a fan of the tone and humor of this book. I get the whole irreverent and sarcastic humor thing; in fact, I usually find it very funny. If you knew me in real life, you’d know that I have a dry sense of humor myself. Likewise, I appreciate the concept of creating a writing guide that isn’t so serious or dry. With this book, however, I thought the “irreverent” attempts were insulting, and honestly, I didn’t find a lot of the answers particularly “witty” or “hilarious.”

Having said that, there are some strong points to the book. Also, there are parts of the book that are chuckle-worthy, such as the section where the author answers a question in “napkin” form. And, “The Actual Message Mike the Tree Guy Left on My Answering Machine…” did blow me away. In addition, a lot of his answers are helpful and on point. In fact, the book is full of great writing advice if you can get past the sarcasm.

But, that’s just me. If you are into that kind of humor, you may really like this book and you should check it out. You may even want to add it to your arsenal of writing handbooks and guides. I give the book three (3) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://bloggingforbooks.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

One Tool Every Writer Must Have by Her Side

There are a lot of tools that writers need or want in order to make their work as a writer easier.

writermusthave

However, if I had to recommend only one tool that a writer should have, it would be a thesaurus.

Why? Because having a thesaurus handy will help you make better word choices, will help you from becoming repetitive, and it will even help you improve your vocabulary.

When you are having a difficult time putting words together while you write, or don’t like the sound of a particular word, browsing through the thesaurus will give you other words that you may not have thought of on your own.

Seriously, when I went back to finish my college degree, and had to write tons of papers and essays, the thesaurus and I became great friends. LOL! It was particularly helpful in finding a variation of transition words to use between sentences and paragraphs and in choosing more sophisticated or academic ways of saying certain things.

Which thesaurus should I use?

Personally, I use several different ones because, surprisingly, sometimes one thesaurus gives words that are not listed in the others. I use a hard copy of the Merriam-Webster thesaurus (aff), and several online versions:

http://www.thesaurus.com/

http://www.merriam-webster.com/

http://thesaurus.babylon.com/

If you don’t already, I highly recommend that you start using a thesaurus. I can almost guarantee that it will make a huge difference – for the better – in your writing.

Now, I have a question for you, what is YOUR number one writing tool that you can’t live without? Do share it in the comments!

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Go here for a printable version of this blog post. (Subscribers, go to your private page for the download.)

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5 Online Resources to Improve Your Writing

improvewriting

In today’s digital age, writing well is essential. It is particularly important if you want to make money selling information products or self-publishing a book. If you write poorly, you may not be taken seriously as an expert in your field. Also, bad writing can affect your review rating on Amazon.com (or other review websites) and ultimately affect your sales.

Therefore, I thought I would share some of my favorite writing websites. If you need a little writing help, or you want a quick resource for when you have a writing question, here are some great websites to keep handy:

1. Writing From Your Soul. Dawn is a fellow former AssistU colleague and is amazing! She  focuses on content creation and offers several writing programs and coaching services. A few years ago, I purchased Dawn’s “Writing from the Soul Intensive Toolkit” and I am convinced that using her system is one of the reasons I graduated from college this May “Summa Cum Laude” (high honors).

2. Grammar Girl. This site offers tons of writing advice and tips. (It also had tons of other kids of tips, too!)

3. The Elements of Style. This is the online version of the well-known grammar handbook. A must-have for any writer.

4. Writer’s Digest. Go here for general writing tips, forums and writing groups, competitions and information about getting published.

5. The Working Writer’s Coach. This resource is a great resource for freelance writers and those looking to be published. She also has writing tips and other resources you may find useful.

Coming Soon: I am in the process of finishing up a “sister” website to this one called http://www.grammarplace.com/. On this website you will find weekly videos offering practical, easy to implement, grammar tips.

What’s your favorite writing resource? Do take a moment to share it in the comments!

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P.S. You can download a free printable version of this list here. (Subscribers can access this download on their private page.)

*I am not an affiliate for any of these websites nor are there any affiliate links in this post.