Writing the Natural Way
By: Gabriella Lusser Rico
Ms. Rico presents to us a series of guidelines for producing focused, honest, improved writing. Written in an informal style, with emphasis on right-brain techniques and approaches to writing,WtNW teaches us not to worry about whether the final product is exceptional, or if this comma or that should be left out, but to produce on paper a cohesive, organized structure of ideas with which to work. According to Rico, if you start from a base like this, an exceptional product is likely to form anyway, especially the more you practice. Punctuation and readability can be taken care of in revisions; the most important part of writing is the idea, and Rico shows us how to pin that idea down.
Writing the Natural Way is one of the best writing manuals I have ever seen. Instead of inundating the reader (and student) with NOs and DO NOTs, it says, “Try it; see what the product is like. Perhaps it will lead to something new and even more worthwhile.” The book can be taken as a kind of Montessori course for beginning writers — provide them with the tools to teach themselves and let them go, with instructor intervention only when necessary.
I highly recommend this book to anyone embarking on a career in writing or just wanting to revitalize his or her current writing. The examples and exercises are non-threatening and the creativity methods introduced (particularly “clustering”) are indispensable.