The Pen Commandments: A Guide for the Beginning Writer

Yitzchak Ed. Frank, Author, Steven Frank, Author Pantheon Books $19.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-375-42228-7
While most guides for novice writers are penned by professional writers, this one comes from a high school teacher, and he knows from teaching writing to the unskilled. Judging from the anecdotes he relates, he is an inspired teacher who sparks a love of language in his students. He is an affable, entertaining and unintimidating guide as he reviews his basic rules for good writing: Thou Shalt Honor Thy Reader (""Your first reader is often a teacher... we're desperate to be entertained""); Thou Shalt Not Kill Thy Sentences (a sentence that is""unclear, undisciplined, or incomplete... will be DOA"") and more. Some of the subrules are familiar (""Show, don't tell""), but Frank's illustrations--depicting literary devices such as""The Persuasive Staircase""--are so enjoyable, it won't matter. Although aimed at students, grown-up aspiring writers will relish Frank's book, too.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Paperback - 314 pages - 978-1-4000-3229-7
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