Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Topic: Writing Style

10-second review: Most writers adopt either the sentence or the paragraph as the smallest unit of meaning in their work.

Title: “How I Write: Kevin Brockmeier.” The Writer. (November 2008), 58. The Writer is a magazine written by writers for writers.

Quote. Kevin Brockmeier: “I think most writers ultimately end up adopting either the sentence or the paragraph as the smallest unit of meaning in their work, the component by which their stories move forward, and it can be helpful to discover which kind of writer you are and embrace that style of writing.”

Comment: Frankly, I never thought of writing style in that way. I’m not exactly sure what it means. Of course, Emerson and Thoreau used the sentence as the core of their writing. Eiseley seemed to combine the two, sentence sometimes, paragraphs at other times. I guess most writers are like Eiseley. Eric Hoffer in The True Believer seemed to write with paragraphs. He just didn’t connect them. I need to think more about this concept of writing style and what it means to how people write.

I’m reminded of a book written by a former student of mine on the joys, hard work and cruelty of farm life. It was by Tom Smith and entitled, Liberty Square Observed and Noted (Xlibris, 2007). He wrote in paragraphs of course, but it was the individual sentence that popped up in the paragraphs that jolted me. They were placed almost anywhere in the paragraph, the beginning, the body, the final sentence. The ideas in the sentences stood out. He was definitely a “sentence writer.” Just reflecting.

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