Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Writing In A Nutshell - And A Drabble #AtoZChallenge

Links to buy it here

R is for a review of a book (which I won back in February) called Writing In A Nutshell by Jessica Bell.

Writing In A Nutshell is a handy little resource for writers.  This all-in-one edition includes Show and Tell, Adverbs and Cliches, and Six Senses.  Each section is a workshop with clear and concise explanations, examples, prompts and exercises.  Show and Tell, for example, has side-by-side entries;  an example of "telling" on the left, and a re-worked "showing" version on the right.  In fact, the entire book shows you what to do instead of just telling you.

This isn't a book to pick up, read and shelve;  it really is a workshop, and to get the most out of it you will need to sit down, study the examples and work on the exercises.  I've found it an excellent resource for editing as well as writing.

I found the Six Senses particularly useful in crafting characters.  You can reveal far more about characters than you may realize by allowing the reader to experience the world through their senses and perceptions.

***I also wrote a guest post today at Stuart Nager's Talespinning Blog  called "Roadside Table".  His A to Z Challenge theme is "Signs", and each post is a drabble (exactly 100 words) prompted by a sign of some sort.  Stuart's a talented writer and I think that you'll enjoy browsing his posts. (Check his archives, too, for short stories and poetry.)

Thanks for hosting me, Stu!

Answers to quiz from my "Quirks" Post:
  1. Says "fiddle dee dee" a lot and made a gown from curtains. Scarlett O'Hara
  2. “I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible.”  Holden Caulfield
  3. Nemesis is a tiger named Shere Khan.  Best friend is a bear. Mowgli
  4. “I’m about as shapeless as the man in the moon!” His physical abnormality is part of the book title. Quasimoto (Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  5. Fierce female, world class hacker, has a tattoo which features in the book title. Lisbeth Salander
  6. "That's my spot!" (This one's a TV character.) Sheldon Cooper
  7. Corresponds with a personal assistant of "our father below" AKA Satan. Wormwood


  1. Hi, awesome post!

    Please visit my blog,

    I'm also participating in the A-Z Challenge, and my theme focuses on books and the title starts with the letter of the day!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'll be visiting blogs tomorrow, long shift at work today. :-)

  2. I haven't read this book. I love books about the craft of writing so I'll have to check this one out. :)

    1. It's a great little resource and I love that it's small enough to carry around. :-)

  3. thanks for the guest post! It got a lot of views. Great little story. Full of emotion.

  4. That really sounds an interesting book, one I should add to my list. ^_^

  5. Show vs. tell seems so simple but I find I need examples to get back on track. Some stuff seems visual when it's really just a wordy way to tell something. Writing is hard!

    Hope you are enjoying the A to Z Challenge. Here's my post for today on Memorable Characters.

    1. It's easy to get caught up in the writing and forget that the reader is not necessarily "seeing" what you are. :-)