I am the author of over a dozen fiction and non-fiction titles. I have read a few books over the years that I think are excellent. The one that truly knocked my socks off, the one that said what I’d been suspecting all along, the one that I would recommend to anyone that’s serious, is Verlyn Klinkenborg’s several short sentences about writing.
The book dispenses with many myths that seem prevalent among aspiring writers such as the idea that the writer should experience a sense of flow when he or she works (flow is for the reader, not the writer), or that automatic writing is the key to good content. His book grabs you by the back of the head, stares you in the eyes and says, very slowly, Writing is about the construction of good sentences.
He makes a compelling case for this simple premise. Nothing in this book is superfluous. True to its message, each sentence matters, and a few matter a lot.
He does not suggest that writing good sentences is something good writers naturally have, or even that they can acquire. It’s something one works at regularly and gets better at over time, if one is paying the right kind of attention. Writing becomes a way of life rather than a profession, and the goal for quality becomes both simple and absorbing.
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