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Introduction Genres, Moves, and Never Getting Stuck Again What’s the hardest part of writing for you? Sitting restlessly in front of your computer, your head full of worry but not words? Trying to come up with a flashy opening? Knowing when it’s time to stop? Finding something new to say during the dry endless middle? This book offers you 228 writing moves— tools for your writer’s toolbox, steps to revive your mind and your momentum, things to DO to solve your writing problems, to get the pages out. Throughout this book, the arrow ➥ indicates “go to this move number.” The moves will give you ways to handle everything from coming up with ideas to polishing a final product. Using this book, you will always have options for what to do next, and you should never get stuck for long. This book is called 21 Genres rather than 228 Moves because an easy way to find the best moves for your writing situation is to identify the form, type, or genre of writing you need to produce—an essay? a business letter? a blog? I analyze each genre to help you understand it, then suggest a series of moves to take you from start to finish of your writing project in that genre. This book covers more genres and writing moves than you’ll ever use. The point is to find the best move for your current writing situation and try to remember successful moves for the future. 2    Introduction If you’re not yet sure about your genre or have specific writing problems, ask yourself what you need help with—getting an idea? (chapter 23); focusing? (chapter 27); organizing? (chapter 28). If you’re just getting started on a paper, let chapters 23–31 take you through a series of writing steps, from “discovering ” to “presenting.” If the prospect of writing anything nauseates you, start with chapter 22, Solve Your Process Problems. You may be surprised at how straightforward, relatively painless, even enjoyable writing can be. And how much you’ll learn and discover from it. Try to adopt an attitude of play when using the moves in this book and when writing in general. It’s fun to come up with a dozen openers and discuss with friends which is most effective. It’s satisfying to trim five words from a page, making it sparkle. Enjoy it . . . or at least don’t fear it. And don’t worry. I’ve got moves for you. ...


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Subject Headings

  • English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching.
  • Literary form -- Study and teaching
  • Language arts.
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