Handley summary

I wanted to share with you the summary of what you liked, what you didn’t, and what surprised you from the Handley reading. So you know, what I like about this book is that is it an accessible text that talks in some smart ways about the practice of writing.

Some things you liked

  • the chapters that focused on action in sentences
  • pathological empathy chapter
  • criticism of the five-paragraph essay
  • writing GPS
  • tell how to change the world
  • ugly first drafts
  • editing is more important than writing
  • story rules

Some things you didn’t

  • book highlighted that you have to practice writing everyday to get good at it
  • humor chapter
  • the obvious points about what makes a good story
  • when she called writing “a habit, not an art”
  • 5-paragraph essay (it does still have a place)
  • “The more you think about what you want to say, and plan for it, the easier it is to say”
  • exhaustive list of advice in section 1

Some things that made you think

  • misplaced modifiers
  • comparing writing to math
  • put the important stuff at the beginning
  • changing the world with your story
  • advice #4 (regard publishing as a privilege) and #28 (deadlines are the WD-40 of writing)
  • “Make truth the cornerstone of anything you create.”


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