Think Like a Writer

Tom BentleyTHE BOOK: Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See


THE AUTHOR:  Tom Bentley

THE EDITOR: Tom Bentley


SUMMARY: The book’s core is how to see the world as a writer. It supplies tools to find and cultivate your writer’s voice, that unique combination of attributes—sensitivity to language, storytelling and audience—by which writers see and define the world. It discusses writing at a structural level: how words work in sentences and how sentences work in stories, moving to how to use those elements and that writer’s stance to write across genres.

It ends with how to deal with writing distractions, and offers a resources section with takes on practical matters of software, hardware and links to writing resources. And it’s written in a light, entertaining style.

THE BACK STORY: I wrote it because I’ve spent a lot of my time thinking about writing (well, that’s one way to not get anything written). I’m interested in the creative use of language, its power and its subtlety, and how it can affect us deeply. So I wrote about my own wrestlings with language and how it’s used to tell stories. And how to find and work with your writer’s voice.

WHY THIS TITLE?: The title came from the thought that there’s a way to apprehend the world as a writer, and how to fine-tune that apprehension. You realize that stories are everywhere, and you could write some!

WHY SOMEONE MIGHT WANT TO READ IT: Tom has been around the block more than a few times as a writer, and what he has to say comes not just from other books on writing, but experience.

REVIEWHow to Think Like a Writer COMMENTS:

1. “This book is the whole package: educational and instructional while applying all the techniques of authenticity and great storytelling in the process. Rich in vocabulary, many sentences are pieces of art by themselves, and great fun to read on top of it. The mix of biographical material to illustrate the points of each chapter and the actual sequences elaborating on said point’s relevance make you forget you are actually learning something very useful.” — Eniqma.

  1. T. Bentley not only provides a wealth of valuable information about the craft and business of writing (nonfiction and fiction); he shows you how it’s done by sparkling example. While nudging you to develop your own authentic storytelling voice, he shares his own, in all its irreverent, wise, funny, candid, word-drunk glory.But, a warning: If you read the book, you might, like me, suddenly run out of excuses for not writing. Also, you’ll probably never look at “fresh, steaming cat poop” in quite the same way. —  Annie Dennison
  1. Tom’s book encouraged me to see my way into new creativity. He helped me understand voice and how to create my own by playing with it. A fun read packed with good advice, easy to understand. A keeper and re-reader. — Jan

AUTHOR PROFILE: Tom Bentley is a fiction writer, an essayist, and a business writer and editor. (He does not play banjo, but he does likes to drink high-proof bourbon. .) He’s published hundreds of freelance pieces—ranging from first-person essays to travel pieces to more journalistic subjects—in newspapers, magazines, and online. He is the author of a coming of age novel and a short story collection. You can see examples of his services, his published writing, and his lurid website confessions at
AUTHOR COMMENTS: I hope people who read the book see how working with words is one of the most fulfilling pursuits there is. Despite the frustrations of writing, the rewards are limitless. Writing is a way of exploring your own thinking and your very self—and it can be jolly fun too.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: A couple of chapters are available here:


PRICE: $5.99

CONTACT THE; Twitter: @TomBentleyNow

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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