Writing in a Nutshell

Writing in a Nutshell : Writing Workshops to Improve Your Craft

4.14 (36 ratings by Goodreads)
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Revised 2019 Edition

In Writing in a Nutshell: Writing Workshops to Improve Your Craft, writer, editor, and publisher, Jessica Bell, guides writers through a variety of "before" and "after" writing examples demonstrating the transition from weak to strong writing, and encourages them to follow her example through clear and simple self-teaching steps.

In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says a writer needs to focus on short assignments to avoid feeling overwhelmed. She refers to the one-inch picture frame on her desk and how it reminds her to focus on bite-sized pieces of the whole story. If you focus on one small thing at a time, the story will eventually come together to create a whole. The same applies to learning how to write. If writers focus on one aspect of the craft at a time, the process will seem less daunting, and piece by piece, it will come together.

Not only is Writing in a Nutshell: Writing Workshops to Improve Your Craft an excellent addition to any creative writing course, but it's also a great primary learning tool for aspiring writers, and a great booster for more experienced writers to use to hone their craft.

NOTE: This book is also broken down into three separate workbooks (available to purchase separately) should writers not need practice in all areas: Show & Tell in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing; Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions of Adverbs & Clichés into Gourmet Imagery; and The Six Senses in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Bleak to Bold Narrative.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 120 x 190 x 12mm | 195g
  • English
  • 2nd Revised 2019 ed.
  • 1925417867
  • 9781925417869
  • 2,716,745

Review quote

"Wonderful writer's tool. I could not believe the amount of scenes Jessica managed to create with such flair and intensity. The tone of each was so very different. I have never seen such obvious yet beautiful examples of showing. As an editor, I look forward to recommending this book to my authors. It has the ability to broaden a writer's horizon, not just in showing, but in the tone and temper used." Amie McCracken, editor, designer & author

"A must-have for every writer. Writers are frequently instructed to 'show, not tell', but before we can follow that advice, we first have to understand it. Bell's brilliant nuts-and-bolts examples provide just what every writer needs to not only understand the concept, but to implement it. Know why? She doesn't just tell us about this concept she shows us. Kinda fitting, dontcha think?" Susan Flett Swiderski, author of Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade

"I found lots of helpful writing tips and examples in this book. I'd recommend it to all new writers, especially students trying to hone their fiction writing skills." A. K. Borenstadt, writer

"I love the structure of this book. It's quick and to-the-point examples are genius and so easy to follow, very user-friendly. Throughout her examples, Bell challenges the writer to see these flaws in his/her writing, but not to panic. She points out they are easy pitfalls for any writer. Even the most seasoned of writers must be reminded from time to time about certain aspects of their writing: i.e., thus the need for editors. This is a MUST HAVE for any writer's craft arsenal, along with its companion--Book I, Show & Tell in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing. It would also be a fabulous gift for any high school or college student." Sheri Larsen, children's literature author

"The examples selected by the author encompass most adverbs and clichés in use. Her suggestions/alternatives are simply brilliant, even poetic in some cases. I wish I could describe things in such beautiful and clever way like her! But that's why I bought this book. I'm motivated enough to pimp my prose now! I definitely recommend it." Aline Lerner, writer

"I'm a big fan of the 'In a Nutshell' series, and The Six Senses In a Nutshell is an excellent addition. If you have trouble including sensory detail in your prose, this handy little guide of exercises will help bring your writing to life! Like the rest of the series, these guides work best if you actually do the exercises. Only then will you discover your own writing style and voice. I found that working through the guide helped me pinpoint the areas in my own novel that lacked vivid setting and description. It's so hard to edit your own work, but Jessica Bell's guides have been invaluable for teaching me the fine art of self-editing and revision. I highly recommend this guide as a standalone for those wanting to improve the use of senses in their writing, but I believe the guides work best in conjunction with one another. They also make great gifts for writers, especially those in your critique group!" Angela Mackintosh, Founder/CEO at WOW! Women On Writing

"In each Nutshell guide, Jessica Bell provides a focused and effective master class on a single aspect of the writer's craft. To read each book feels like taking a personal tutorial, with expert advice couched in friendly, supportive terms and reinforced by carefully planned exercises. A highly recommended source of practical help to refine any author's writing skills." Debbie Young, author of Sell Your Books and editor of The Alliance of Independent Authors Self-Publishing Advice Blog.
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Rating details

36 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 42% (15)
4 39% (14)
3 14% (5)
2 3% (1)
1 3% (1)
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