If content is the what and style is the how, this book is the what on the how. It was a random pick off my small town library’s shelf, at a time when I was struggling with what my writing voice ought to be. Yagoda didn’t solve the problem for me but he took me on a wonderful tour of writers who’ve certainly given it thought. He built his book with essays, punchy quotes from the quick and the dead, and a good many interview excerpts. I left it on the kitchen table and snatched a few pages at a time over salad and scrambled eggs. The method worked because it’s a book that needn’t be consumed in large chunks. (Atrocious pun intended.)In the end, I can’t say I’m any closer to formulating my style and that, perhaps, is one of Yagoda’s ‘take away’ points (Lord, did I just make another food pun?): style is recognizable but how it got that way is for each writer to discover and keep discovering.
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