ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • How to Write

Write With Spunk and Bite

Updated on September 1, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

A librarian through and through, Virginia Allain writes about book topics and information for library users and librarians.

Source

Make Your Writing More Engaging

Generations of students and writers relied on the classic, Elements of Style by E.B. White and Wiliam Strunk Jr. A slim book, it advises writers on how to write more clearly. Now it has a challenger in Arthur Plotnik's Spunk & Bite. Of course, the title is a play on Strunk and White.

I'll share with you some of the methods Plotnik recommends for writing with a "punchier, more engaging language and style." If you're writing the Great American Novel, blogging, journaling or just writing for business, this book has insight to make you a better writer.

Chapter Headings for Spunk & Bite

1. E.B. Whitewashed : a starting point -- Freshness : the wallop of the new

2. The pleasures of surprise

3. Extreme expression

4. Writers' words, drop by dottle

5. Upgrading your colors

6. Joltingly fresh adverbs -- Texture : writing into the mood

7. Tense : a sticky choice

8. Diction : we are the words

9. The punchy trope -- Word : language, aerobatic and incandescent

10. How to loot a thesaurus

11. Words with music and sploosh

12. Coining the bonne locution

13. Words with foreign umami -- Force : stimulation by any means

14. Dialogue tags with oomph

15. Enallage : a fun grammatical get

16. Intensifiers for the feeble

17. Opening words : the glorious portal

18. Closings : the three-point landing -- Form : life between the marks

19. The joys of hyper-hyphenation

20. A license. To fragment. Sentences

21. The poetry lists

22. The art of the semicolon

23. Daringly quoteless dialogue -- Clarity : "a house of great spickness and spanness"

24. The feng shui of writing

25. Hunting down danglers

26. Magic in the names of things

27. The earnestly engaging sentence -- Contemporaneity : a leg up on the competition

28. Writing for new generations

29. Hot pop and ephemeragy

30. Edge : writing at the nervy limits

31. Parting words : butterflies in the killing fields.

Here's the Book - to add punch to your writing style

Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style
Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style

The new reader has a short attention span. Plotnik advocates writers keeping that audience in mind and to add some punch to grab the reader.

 

Expanding Your Vocabulary

In chapter four, the author of Spunk & Bite describes collecting an arsenal of words to pep up your writing. Here are some recommended Internet sources to get you started.

Hunting Down Danglers

Read chapter 25 in Spunk & Bite if this is a problem area for you.

Learn how to spot faulty modifiers in your writing.

In Praise of The Elements of Style

Writers talk about how important it is to them. (videos from Youtube)

Describe Your Writing Style

I asked my friends if they were ready to add zip to their writing with Spunk & Bite.

callinsky lm: My writing has been called many things but never traditional.

grannysage: I hope I succeed in being spunky in my writing. I like to bend and twist things now and then.

Upgrade Your Colors - Tips from Spunk & Bite

The book devotes a whole chapter to avoiding cliched color descriptions like her face turned lobster red under a steel-gray sky. I'm afraid I cringed a bit, as I'm sure I've described things as fire engine red or emerald green.

In Spunk & Bite, it tells writers that "color imagery should be fresh and inventive, but not constantly over-the-top." Plotnik gives ways to apply inventive metaphors to color and gives quite a few examples.

© 2010 Virginia Allain

Do You Want to Add Spunk and Bite to Your Writing Style?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      grannysage 8 years ago

      This looks like a really good book. I need to add it to my growing list. I do have to chase my dangling participles, but what else are they good for? Thought provoking and appears to be a good resource.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 8 years ago from UK

      Not sure, I'll have to check out the book first ;) Sounds like a very interesting read in any case, and I enjoyed finding out about it here.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)