Two micro lessons in writing

1) On style:

“Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should have no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines, and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short, or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell”The Elements of Style, Strunk and White

2) On music:

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.” ― Gary Provost

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And another on a writer’s worth

How many of my writer/artist friends want to either sit up and cheer or think about bursting into tears at this one?

Of Course I’d Love To Work For Free

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Good quotes

At ‘The Uncustomary Book Review; A Conversation with Readers’, Kat Kiddles pulled five quotes from my novel, ‘Midnight at Spanish Gardens‘, noting that this one was her favorite:

“…if you were allowed full knowledge and free memory you would be paralyzed, you would never be able to take another step in any direction at all because you would be second-guessing yourself too hard…” (p.281)”

(You can read the whole review here)

That comes to mind because ‘Women Writers Women Books’ is asking: “What is your favorite quote by a female writer?”

One response: “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.” –Virginia Woolf”

What is your favorite quote from a woman writer?

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