The Writer’s Practice: Building Confidence in Your Nonfiction Writing

John Warner. Penguin, $16 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-14-313315-5
Warner (The Funny Man) generously offers useful hints for improving nonfiction writing. He intends the book, he states at the beginning, “for anyone who wants to improve their writing, which is everyone because everyone is a writer.” To Warner, writing covers not just books, articles, and essays, but text messages, e-mails, social media posts, office memos, and homework. To develop a writer’s practice, he bases his creative, process-oriented assignments, or “experiences,” on the idea that learning is doing. His writing philosophy, introduced first, covers attitude and skills, plus habits of mind, such as curiosity and openness. Each section, whether on analytical, research-based, or humorous writing, follows the same rubric, which comprises audience, purpose, and process; the latter means selecting subjects, considering audience, and drafting text. As a bonus, Warner proffers short, skillful essays on topics like procrastination and failure. Throughout, he wields common sense, humor, and self-deprecation (despite publishing half a dozen books and spending 20 years teaching writing). Warner’s style reads like informal, intelligent conversation founded on a genuine desire to share what he knows, and his helpful book will serve as a trusty companion to writers on their own or in class. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2018
Release date: 02/05/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-0-525-50493-1
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