Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process

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9780195029130: Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process
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A classic handbook for anyone who needs to write, Writing With Power speaks to everyone who has wrestled with words while seeking to gain power with them. Here, Peter Elbow emphasizes that the essential activities underlying good writing and the essential exercises promoting it are really not difficult at all.

Employing a cookbook approach, Elbow provides the reader (and writer) with various recipes: for getting words down on paper, for revising, for dealing with an audience, for getting feedback on a piece of writing, and still other recipes for approaching the mystery of power in writing. In a new introduction, he offers his reflections on the original edition, discusses the responses from people who have followed his techniques, how his methods may differ from other processes, and how his original topics are still pertinent to today's writer. By taking risks and embracing mistakes, Elbow hopes the writer may somehow find a hold on the creative process and be able to heighten two mentalities--the production of writing and the revision of it.

From students and teachers to novelists and poets, Writing with Power reminds us that we can celebrate the uses of mystery, chaos, nonplanning, and magic, while achieving analysis, conscious control, explicitness, and care in whatever it is we set down on paper.

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Review:

Whatever your reason for writing, Peter Elbow has a "recipe" to guide you. A longtime proponent of "freewriting" (writing without stopping, for a preset amount of time), Elbow incorporates its use in a variety of ways. Have a limited amount of time? Spend half of it freewriting and half of it cleaning up your prose. Got all the time in the world (and only a vague sense of what you want to say)? Freewrite, then focus, then freewrite, then focus, repeatedly, until you get "a trustworthy vision of your final piece of writing." Elbow offers a plethora of prompts for priming the creative pump, as well as several ways to revise the piece of writing that results: thorough revising, revising with feedback, cutting and pasting, proofreading, and the like. He pays close attention to the ways in which focusing on an audience can assist or interfere in the writing process, including a terrific chapter on the strangeness of writing for teachers, in which "your task is usually to explain what you are still engaged in trying to understand to someone who understands it better." And he provides an excellent section on how to solicit the kind of feedback you want. Though it is a new edition of a 1981 book, there is nothing tired about Writing with Power: it provides many tools to help a writer feel empowered throughout the writing process. --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:


Peter Elbow is Professor of English and Director of the writing program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780195120189: Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0195120183 ISBN 13:  9780195120189
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1998
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9780195029123: Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process

Oxford..., 1981
Hardcover

9780195120172: Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process

Oxford..., 1998
Hardcover

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