Cover Image: Tell It Like It Is

Tell It Like It Is

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Member Reviews

Roy Peter Clark I love you!!!!!!! My father (not really) and forever journalism teacher (earnest). I've been using what I learned in this book every day since I read it.

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I accessed a digital review copy of this book from the publisher.
The book focuses more on journalism than any other writing. It also focuses on how journalism has a responsibility to the public. It does not have as much about actually writing.

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A solid outreach piece with regard to writing practices and handling the need to grab interest within the scope of nonfiction writing. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity with the title.

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Tell it like it is is a very clear and direct manual for any public writer. The book is divided into clear and concise chapter that include actionable practices for every writer to improve their skills. A great book for anyone who is learning to write, wants to improve their skills, or wants to help someone else with their writing.

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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Little Brown and Company for an advanced copy of this book on how writers must learn to present true facts and real information clearer and readable to fight the authoritarian leaders that seem to be gaining power in our own backyards.

Social media has done a lot wrong, but one of its worst crimes is the inability for a lot of humans to comprehend and understand true facts. Oh this guy sounds like me, I'll believe him, oh she loves Jesus and her boyfriend too, she must be right. People do their own research but start with the answer they want and keep going from there. Paragraphs are full of buzzwords that make the lizard part of the brain buzz in excitement, but at the end nothing is really shared, by the fears that exist in us all. Crime is rising, we need more police, crime is falling, we need more police. Newspapers are closing, TV are big business, and really business sides with power, so their words aren't clear either. Into the debate steps Roy Peter Clark, writer, writing coach and author of many books on writing and how to write well. In Tell It Like it Is, Clark addressing this crisis in understanding and how writers, must make a stand becoming public writers. Clark in gives advice, explains the idea of public writing, with numerous examples, and suggestions for a new generation to write what they see, and what is real.

Roy Peter Clark was admiring the instructions on a box for a home COVID-19 test as the book begins. The skill of the instructions, the ease in following them, how to understand the results that appeared. Clark also noticed the design, the spacing of words, the way the text flowed, and could appreciate the ability it took to develop and write this. Trapped inside by the quarantine, Clark began using his newspaper column to start thinking of clear writing, and how to get real facts about the disease, masking, symptoms and more. This idea expanded as Clark began to notice how people were believing so much bad information. Clark discusses the shortness of paragraphs, and the shortness of sentences to give information. The chapters offers numerous examples from other writers, and he breaks these sections down to show what works, or what can be improved. Also the idea of the public writer, one who writes for the public is discussed and explored with this idea trying into his asking writers to keep it simple.

The shortness of chapters means that readers can almost treat this like a writing exercise, seeing what Clark has written and trying it for oneself. I read through the book, and have gone back and tried to see if I could adapt to his hints. I know I am a long sentence, and as shown long paragraph person, but will try harder in the future. A big lesson is stop trying to impress the reader, but impress upon the reader what should be known. No one likes to be lectured, and as is being proven in politics and life, no one likes to be proved wrong. So that is a big problem for writers at the start.

Clark has a really good style, one that is very conversational, and keeps the reader interested throughout the book. Clark doesn't yell at us, but there is a sense that wants people to get up and start to fight against all the bad and propaganda that floods us everyday. I've read quite a few of Clark's books before, but this one, I feel is his most inspirational.

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