Mastering the Craft of Science Writing
"I am so proud to be Elise's student. Read this book and I suspect you will be too."—from the foreword by Robert Kanigel, author of The Man Who Knew Infinity
From the latest breakthroughs in medical research and information technologies to new discoveries about the diversity of life on earth, science is becoming both more specialized and more relevant. Consequently, the need for writers who can clarify these breakthroughs and discoveries for the general public has become acute.
In Ideas into Words, Elise Hancock, a professional writer and editor with thirty years of experience, provides both novice and seasoned science writers with the practical advice and canny insights they need to take their craft to the next level. Rich with real-life examples and anecdotes, this book covers the essentials of science writing: finding story ideas, learning the science, opening and shaping a piece, polishing drafts, overcoming blocks, and conducting interviews with scientists and other experts who may not be accustomed to making their ideas understandable to lay readers.
Hancock's wisdom will prove useful to anyone pursuing nonfiction writing as a career. She devotes an entire chapter to habits and attitudes that writers should cultivate, another to structure, and a third to the art of revision. Some of her advice is surprising (she cautions against slavish use of transitions, for example); all of it is hard-earned, astute, and wittily conveyed. This concise guide is essential reading for every writer attempting to explain the world of science to the rest of us.