Discovering the Power of My Words by Russell Baker
The author talks about his journey towards acknowledging the essence and meaning of his writing. He begins this journey from his third year in high school and his pre-judgment of Mr. Fleagle who was in love with literature and wanted all his students to appreciate it too. This includes the reading of Macbeth and the subsequent assignments. Baker takes the reader through his predicament in choosing a suitable title until he landed on one that inspired memories of a past dinner where he first ate spaghetti. This essay was read out to his class although he had thought of it as a rough draft, and it set him on a journey and a career about writing. It is an inspiring story about how powerful one’s writing can be if written from the heart.
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Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott
The main aim of the author is to draw the reader into a discourse about the real process of good writing, which begins with very bad first bad drafts. She describes the real laborious experience that every writer goes through to write that final lovely draft. In this process, she describes the first draft as the ‘child’s draft’ or the down draft because it is untamed and innocent. From this, the writer discards of the sections or paragraphs that are necessary and comes up with a better up draft. The third draft, she describes as dental because it is thorough and perfect, what the writer would want the world to see.
Writing for an Audience by Linda S. Flower
Flower writes about the preparation of a text or written material for the intended audience. In this regard, she describes a process of analyzing the audience and understanding their culture and various needs. One, knowing what knowledge the reader already possesses and what they need to know. Two, the attitude that the intended reader has in connection with the knowledge he or she possesses. The final step is to analyze their needs and focus the writing to suit them. This means that a good writer is one who is in tune with his or her audience’s knowledge, attitude and needs.
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Simplicity by William Zinsser
The writer’s intention is to describe to the writer the art of identifying and discarding of the ‘clutter’ in writing. He describes his loathe for unnecessary complexity or excessive wording, giving examples of the latter and some of the simplified writing. He shows the connection of thinking and writing, meaning that for one to write in clear and simple language, he or she must think in the same way. The person who suffers from cluttered writing is the same person the material is intended for, the audience.
The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts by Donald M. Murray
Murray’s main aim is to give the reader the necessary tools to have to objectively edit one’s work. He begins this discourse with a comparison between the student and the professional writer in attitude towards the first draft. He therefore describes the process by which the writer must learn to think like the reader and the critic. This process often involves scanning and analyzing for information, meaning, what the audience seeks, the form of the text, structure, development, dimension and listening to their own voice.
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Reading to Write by Stephen King
The author’s intent is to show the reader the connection between reading and writing. He describes his own process, and severally mentions that he does not read to study the art but rather because he enjoys it. King mentions books that he considers important, and the different kind of books, those that make the reader hopeful or despair about their own writing prowess. This process goes beyond the text because it extends to where one should read and the fact that reading is involving and other things like TV should be discarded. He gives an example of his own son’s journey through learning to play the saxophone and learning the disconnect between good music and actually learning to play.