Several Short Sentences About Writing

by Verlyn Klinkenborg


Curator Reviews

Joyce Maynard

"Imagine it this way,” Klinkenborg says.  “One by one, each sentence takes the stage.  It says the very thing it comes into existence to say.  Then it leaves the stage.”  I pretend, as I read these words, that I am this sentence, stepping away when I reach that last word.  “It doesn’t help the next one up or the previous one down,” the author goes on to say.  “It doesn’t wave to its friends in the audience or pause to be acknowledged and applauded.”  Once again, I pretend I’m the sentence (the bad kind) that does precisely this. The list is long, of books about how to write better.  A few (Stephen King’s On Writing comes to mind) are really terrific.  Out of all of them, this one’s my favorite. I can just about guarantee that following Klinkenborg’s advice will make anyone a better writer.

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