A Little Gem of a Book

By Marcia Riefer Johnston
Northwest Brainstorms Publishing, $21.99, 240 pages

Marcia Riefer Johnston has written a dense, tip-filled book called Word Up! Johnston’s mantra that “word is power” sets the tone for the entire book. She recommends getting rid of the be verb and explains those painful personal pronoun pairings. The book is divided into three parts that focus on words, sentences and paragraphs, and writing. You will, of course, find some typical grammar feedback, but this book offers a bit more that that.

In part one, topics range from hyphens to prepositions. Part two focuses on run-ons, metaphors and contrast. Part three delves into knowing your audience, your own personal brand and creating personas to understand who your audience might be. This book even includes writing for mobile devices and technical writing such as outlining the steps of a procedure and indexes.

“Words and their ability to instruct, console, uplift, devastate, tickle, bore, confuse, and persuade.”

Johnston is an experienced, well-versed writer. She presents ample examples, tips and resources. Johnston devotes a chapter to your writing “brand” and suggests writing a mission statement, preparing an elevator speech and volunteering as ways to find writing jobs. Although this is not a quick-read book, you will refer to it time and time again for the sound, practical advice that it imparts.

Reviewed by Seniye Groff