June 7, 2012

Review of “Words to Write By”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , at 12:57 pm by Christine Rice

Words to Write By by Elaine Orr is a helpful and eloquently written manual for writers of nonfiction. She is an experienced writer and editor. In the book, it is clear that she definitely knows her stuff.

The book tells the reader that if they can talk, they can write, and that good writing is learned. Orr suggests to writers who are just starting out that they should write about what they know, because knowing the subject makes the writing process easier, and to not be afraid of writing badly, because the more a writer practices the craft, the better their writing skills will become.

Orr is a clear and concise writer. Her book is well-written and well-edited. She speaks directly and honestly to the reader in order to help them improve their writing skills. She is a good teacher. She explains the different types of nonfiction writing, some of which are not normally explained in other writing books. She discusses the importance of a writer’s audience, in order for the writer to communicate appropriately for whomever will be reading their work.

Next, she explains the different steps to writing a nonfiction piece – from ideas to editing – and gives helpful examples. She talks about the importance of clear writing and explains what it is and how to do it. She goes over common grammar errors and respectful language. Lastly, she speaks about ways to learn more about writing and improve writing skills, and lists books and websites that help with doing so.

I recommend Words to Write By to beginning nonfiction writers who want a concise review of the important parts of the craft of writing and how to complete a nonfiction piece.

You can get your own copy here. Enjoy!


  1. I wish I could get a paper copy of this! I don’t like reading ebooks but it sounds really interesting!

    • I personally love ebooks. I suppose you could download it to a Kindle app on your computer and print it out. :)

      • True! I’ll have a go reading it on my laptop…hopefully I’ll enjoy reading it that much I won’t notice that it’s on the screen!

      • There you go! :) Enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: