Top positive review
55 people found this helpful
on May 2, 2000
I wish I had written this book. It is balanced and complete. I discovered it only after I had self-published a much smaller and simpler guide to writing family stories. Where my brief encouragement to older family members is intended to give them the confidence to write, Kirk Polking's 250-page summary will help even a seasoned writer in putting the family histories and memoirs on paper. My only reservation in recommending the book is that it definitely is not for the beginning writer. The writing examples are excellent and demonstrate her points well. However, one must assume that the would-be writer is well-versed in the rules of English usage and familiar with the finer concepts such as voice and tone.
I had intended to write a second guide to help my new storywriters in fine-tuning their actual writing content and individual writing stye. That is already covered quite well in Chapter 15, Self Editing Your FInal Manusctript. I especially appreciate the Twenty Rules for Good Writing, which Polking attributes to the Writer's Digest School, which she once directed.
My third book would have been intended for the more sophisticated taste and style of a good writer; exactly what Kirk Polking's manual has done for us. That is why I envy her accomplishment.
I recommend the book as a fine reference at a fair price.