A Recommendation

I write primarily non-fiction, everything from video scripts, to social media and web content, magazine articles, collateral materials, handbooks and more. I also read non-fiction primarily, including a number of book on writing, including Elements of Style and others by Stephen King, Elizabeth Berg, John Gardner and more.

I also have a habit of browsing the stack and the local library or running whatever searches on-line to find something to read that might interest me, something unexpected.Last week I’m roaming the stacks and select a book entitled Just Write. Here’s How!

It’s written by Walter Dean Myers and it’s geared towards young adult readers — and writers. But if you are doing or want to do any type of writing be it fiction or nonfiction, I highly recommend this book. First, because it’s written for young readers, it’s easy to read. Second, although I’m not a big fan of outlining, Mr. Myers may have changed my way of thinking. Here’s how. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, Myers first does extensive pre-writing. Then he create an outline, not is the usual numbers manner, but using boxes. Here are the boxes for a fiction outline.

myers boxes for fictionThe simple sentences within each box can serve as a thesis for that section and provide a writer with direction. Note, this doesn’t mean a work has only six chapters, but the plot and character are assigned different conditions that have to be present to tell a story. Similarly, he has an approach for non-fiction. Here.

myers boxes for non-fictionI read a copy I borrowed from the library but hard copies and an e-book are available on-line. Here’s a review of the book  on-line.


About Bob McCarthy

Originally from the Northeast, I now call Southwest Florida home. I have been a professional copywriter and editor since 1979, both freelance and in house. I have had article published in regional, national and international magazines. Plus, a video for which I wrote the script won an industry award as Best Training Video.
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