Review: Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method

By: Norm Goldman

Author: Gerald M. Weinberg

ISBN: 093263365X

The following review was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures. CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews

With the advent of self-publishing there is a current vogue for writing manuals
and writers’ aids. Most usually take the same approach with little variations.
However, Gerald M. Weinberg has come up with a creative approach with his
Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method. He offers alternatives to your
writing habits that he has experimented with and that have proven to be quite
beneficial to him in his career. Weinberg has been writing books and teaching
students how to write for forty years, and he is a leading author and
“consultant’s consultant" in the computer industry.

In Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method he draws an analogy to the
stone-by-stone method of building fieldstone structures. If you are not familiar
with fieldstones, these are generally used as for property lines and fences,
although they can also be used in constructing various other structures.

Building a fieldstone structure requires gathering the right stones in a
step-by-step process, as fieldstones vary in size, color, texture, shape and
Similarly, writing a book requires the gathering of ideas or as Weinberg
succinctly reminds us, “snatches of writing, photos, diagrams, quotations,
pictures, and references that you find interesting." Weinberg’s fieldstone
method also uses the “stones of time," wherein chunks of writing time are set
aside, varying in quality and duration, in order to effectively write.

In this
way you can avoid writer’s block and you can realize your writing projects with
greater ease.

Weinberg displays his deep writing knowledge throughout the book’s twenty
chapters that commences with the most important of Weinberg’s writing lesson
where he states that you can write anything you wish in any style, however, it
is imperative that you never attempt to write what you don’t care about. This
is different then the usual rule where we are told to write about what you know.

From here Weinberg explores how to banish writer’s block, gathering and
recycling ideas, words, phrases that you can call up for future use in any
fiction or non-fiction you may write. We are also provided with several
exercises in order to reinforce the many new principles that Weinberg exposes to

There is a chapter dealing with the many tools available to assist us in our
gathering as the Internet, computers, notecards, pads, highlighters and sticky
notes, and other technological aids that will make our writing life simpler and
more rewarding.

Other sections illustrate how to discard unwanted material in the same manner
that we discard stones that don’t fit or suit our structure, how to trigger our
memory, organizing our work, shaping ideas and words that fit, knowing when to
stopScience Articles, and what happens after we are finished.

Weinberg has written a clever writing manual. On one level it is highly readable
and on another it is packed with excellent insights into how to effectively
perfect the writing process with less pain and much more enjoyment.

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