The Pen Commandments: A Guide for the Beginning Writer
Yitzchak Ed. Frank / Author, Steven Frank / Author Pantheon Bo
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