Many books attempt to teach the elements of good non-fiction writing, but only one does it in the gentle, humorous way of famous writing coach Paula LaRocque. LaRocque's new book is the result of a lifetime spent as a journalist and writing educator. This book contains 25 chapters in three sections. The first section spells out a dozen essential guidelines to good writing, from the importance of short sentences to the value of using a conversational tone. Section Two teaches the reader how to tell a story -- how to build suspense, how to effectively describe things, how to use literary devices. Section Three is a concise handbook on writing mechanics, such as grammar, usage, punctuation and style. Each section is loaded with illustrative examples of great non-fiction writing, and LaRocque's gentle humour makes reading a pleasure. This is LaRocque's gift to the writing world -- it is destined to become a classic.
Paula LaRocque is best known for her regular columns on writing well in The Dallas Morning News, Quill magazine, APME News and other publications that reach a broad professional and consumer audience. She also spreads her writing knowledge through regular appearances on KDKA, the NPR affiliate radio station in Dallas, and other radio programs throughout North America. She is in high demand as a speaker at journalism and business writing events. She recently retired as the assistant managing editor and writing coach at The Dallas Morning News, where she had worked since 1981. She was a writing consultant for the Associated Press Washington Bureau from 1989 to 1993, and in 1993 she appeared in a PBS special, 'The Writing Coach: With Paula LaRocque'. She previously taught creative and journalistic writing at Western Michigan University, Texas A&M, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University.