Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twenty-six Ways of Looking At a Blackberry

Author:        John Simmons
Published:    2009
Publisher:    A&C Black Publishers Ltd.
Paperback: 240 Pages

If you think this book is about Blackberry (TM) the smartphone or the blackberry the fruit, read no further. It is about neither.
But hold on ! If you are interested in creative writing then this book (and hopefully my summary of it in this blog post !) is definitely worth a read. It is certainly one of the stand-apart  books  which I have come across.

The author John Simmons is of the view that even a dull, matter of fact business writing can be transformed into a more expressive and adventurous form of writing. The transformed piece may not convey precisely all the information and the same meaning. But it may establish better emotional connectivity with the reader and achieve the same goal as that of the original piece.

To demonstrate this the author first creates a base text -  the opening pages of an annual report of a fictitious technology company. The base text uses the standard business jargon-  sales, profits, future plans etc.
He rewrites this piece in 26 different styles that include Pronoun Shift, Fairy Tale, Questions, Style of Dickens, Six-word Stories, Alliteration, Song Lyrics, Eight-word Sentences, Greek Myth, Graphic Novel, Shakespearean Sonnet, Newspaper Article, Letter to a Friend, Blues, Detective Fiction, Democratic Campaign Speech, Lists, Haiku etc.
The nuances of creative writing are brought out in a very lucid manner using  these rewritten pieces and many  other examples drawn from author's career as a brand management consultant. 

A must read book for all business communicators like brand managers, marketers, advertisers, copywriters, PR people and also for anyone interested in creative writing !

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