Several Short Sentences About Writing

Several Short Sentences About Writing Most of what you think you know about writing is useless It s the harmful debris of your education a mixture of half truths myths and false assumptions that prevents you from writing well Drawing on

  • Title: Several Short Sentences About Writing
  • Author: Verlyn Klinkenborg
  • ISBN: 9780307266347
  • Page: 418
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Most of what you think you know about writing is useless It s the harmful debris of your education a mixture of half truths, myths, and false assumptions that prevents you from writing well Drawing on years of experience as a writer and teacher of writing, Verlyn Klinkenborg offers an approach to writing that will change the way you work and think There is no gospel, noMost of what you think you know about writing is useless It s the harmful debris of your education a mixture of half truths, myths, and false assumptions that prevents you from writing well Drawing on years of experience as a writer and teacher of writing, Verlyn Klinkenborg offers an approach to writing that will change the way you work and think There is no gospel, no orthodoxy, no dogma in this book What you ll find here isn t the way to write Instead, you ll find a way to clear your mind of illusions about writing and discover how you write Several Short Sentences About Writing is a book of first steps and experiments They will revolutionize the way you think and perceive, and they will change forever the sense of your own authority as a writer This is a book full of learning, but it s also a book full of unlearning a way to recover the vivid, rhythmic, poetic sense of language you once possessed An indispensable and unique book that will give you a clear understanding of how to think about what you do when you write and how to improve the quality of your writing.

    • Several Short Sentences About Writing - Verlyn Klinkenborg
      418 Verlyn Klinkenborg
    • thumbnail Title: Several Short Sentences About Writing - Verlyn Klinkenborg
      Posted by:Verlyn Klinkenborg
      Published :2019-05-16T19:45:34+00:00

    About "Verlyn Klinkenborg"

    1. Verlyn Klinkenborg

      Verlyn Klinkenborg is a member of the editorial board of The New York Times His previous books include Making Hay, The Last Fine Time, and The Rural Life He lives in upstate New York.

    564 thoughts on “Several Short Sentences About Writing”

    1. This book is nearly impossible to rate.It's good.It's really good.But it reads like theoretical slam poetryOn the topic of writing.An essay that could be in verse,But isn't in verse.And that might be off-putting to some readers.Every sentence in this book is valuable.I have visions of myself sitting and writing,Noticing, as Klinkenborg would put it,And consulting this book.The guy knows his stuffAnd that makes him a little pompous in his delivery.Reviewers have complained that they feel condesce [...]


    2. I'd recommend this to newer writers since I think it's aimed at them. The tone rankled me, so did the direct address, second-person POV (also occasional first-person plural), particularly when it addressed someone I was not -- that is, someone lacking an apparently excellent education when it comes to writing (he condescends too often to "what you were taught about writing"). He also too often for me presents his assertions as objective truth. The format emphasizes sentence length and rhythm. It [...]


    3. I'm loving this book, here is my favorite qoute, from page 12 " The longer the sentence, the less it's able to imply, and writing by implication should be one of your goals. Implication is almost nonexistent in the prose that surrounds you, the prose of law, science, business, journalism, and most academic fields. It was nonexistent in the way you were taught to write, that means you don't know how to use one of a writer's most important tools: the ability to suggest more than the words seem to [...]


    4. What a strange, funny, true, crazy, insightful book. Klinkenborg walks that fine line between pretension and crystal-clear truth. For the most part, the book is about writing better sentences, and in that respect, it’s deeply insightful and thought-provoking. But even better is what Klinkenborg’s sentences are actually saying about busting writing stereotypes. There were a few moments where the book’s relentless stylizing grew tedious, but mostly, this was a very fast, entertaining, and wo [...]


    5. “Here, in short is what I want to tell you."Know what each sentence says,What it doesn’t say,And what it implies.Of these, the hardest is knowing what each sentenceactually says.”“Your job as a writer is making sentences.Your other jobs includes fixing sentences, killing sentences, and arranging sentences . . .”The title of Kinkenborg’s book encompasses the subject. It is an exploration of the sentence and it’s importance to writers. He offers advice, wisdom and insight gained over [...]


    6. While some ideas put forth in this book are valid and useful, I was put off by two things. First, the examples the author chooses of bad sentences were just too bad and uncomfortable to read through to the end. Second, I can't help thinking the emphasis on brevity and clarity will prove stifling in the end, turning all writing into technical writing. I'm reminded of my college poetry class where one student on hearing a beautiful sonnet by Shakespeare complained that Billy could have said the sa [...]


    7. Hands down, this is the most inspiring, honest, and realistic book about writing that I have ever read. It is best to read this slowly and savor each kernel of advice. I have used Klinkenborg's advice in classrooms to inspired new writers away from their formal, stuffy training and toward their most authentic voices. His ideas are clearly stated and feel immediately true upon reading them, although no one has quite said them in this way before. I can't recommend this book enough.


    8. I never thought that what I had to say might be important. Never thought what I notice might be important. How could it? Who am I to have an important opinion? I’ve been told to pay no heed to my perceptions, to disregard my thoughts, to learn from the wise and from the important and from the established legerdemains of prose. I’ve been taught in school in analyze my ideas before putting them down on paper, and I grew to be afraid of them. What if they weren’t right? Of course they weren [...]


    9. How to foster a certain quality of mind, the writing mind, which notices, lies at the heart of Several Short Sentences About Writing. As the quotes below show, Klinkenborg's writing advice is presented like poetry. Technically it IS poetry, as he’s controlling the length of his lines. This compulsively readable declarative poem runs for149 of the book’s 204 pages, the balance being examples of prose, good and bad, and concise commentary. Here are some of his gnomic stanzas that struck me as [...]


    10. This book was recommended to me by my youngest son who said he wished he'd discovered this book earlier in his life - but that would have been impossible, because the book hadn't yet been written! I liked this book mostly because it's a fun, fine book, but also because it was recommended by my son. From the preface:"The premise of this book is that most of the received wisdom about how writing works is not only wrong but harmful. This is not an assumption. It’s a conclusion."You can start this [...]


    11. One of the best books on writing ever.I do, intuitively, a lot of stuff he talks about: for example, I vary the length of my sentences, and I craft my long ones as a series of short sentences, separated by commas and dashes.I try to write texts which can be read aloud and sound natural (although I know writing is not natural - a point Klinkenborg makes too). I revise while reading aloud, too. I also believe the only honest form of writing is witnessing - writing what you notice and what you thin [...]


    12. This is probably one of my favorite craft books now. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but in this case, that fact does not detract from the text at all. Instead, the book is a celebration of the sentence. It encourages reader-writers to move away from expectations, rules, and rigid education to instead explore possibilities, experiment, and push the boundaries. It is a book about excitement and opportunity, not forsaking conventio, but embracing the agency of the writer while enc [...]


    13. I always enjoy an invitation to think further about writing well. I found a number of gems in this volume, bon mots for me as a writer and others that I believe will help my students.Yet aspects of the advice irked me no end. Klinkenborg sets up "school," and implicitly the writing teacher, as the straw man, although a human subject is notably absent from these sentences. All weak writing on students' part stems not from their own inexperience but, he asserts, from "what [they] were taught" in s [...]


    14. Any reader who enthuses over this book is going to have a hard time writing about it. And that’s funny. Because it’s a book about writing. If a book about writing has done its job, then writing about it—writing about anything—should be easier, no? If that’s your goal…consult a different book.If your goal, as a reader, is to strengthen your writing…this might be just the book for you. Klinkenborg makes the claim that our educational system, and our culture at large, doesn’t get th [...]


    15. On the cover of this book, there is a blurb from the New York Journal of Books: “Best book on writing. Ever.”It’s an excellent example of the Klinkenborg’s advocacy for the power of short sentences. Even if it is, perhaps, a bit hyperbolic. This is a book I am going to read again. I think it will take a second and third reading to maximize the potential benefits. Klinkenborg offers a philosophy of writing and it is a lot to absorb in one reading. One of his main points is that aspiring w [...]


    16. Hands-down the best book on the art of writing I have ever read. Even better than Bradbury's. The essence of what it means to write is here distilled down to the only thing that really matters: How to make perfect sentences, and what that means, and why. Absolutely blew my mind, teaching me to do a ton of things differently, but also showing me how surprisingly much I've been doing correctly all the time and getting yelled at for it by schools. :)A fast, enjoyable, weirdly-like-poetry mental rom [...]


    17. Five stars are too few to describe how much I love this book right now. This guy might be condescending to some, but his advice is giving me confidence and clearing out the clutter of voices in my brain right now. This is like the stripped down version of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: just get started and stop overthinking it. I will be obnoxiously quoting from this book for a long, long time.


    18. This is a useful book. It's one of those that's reference more than OKAY I'VE LEARNED EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW AND NOW I CAN GO DO THIS. At least, that's how it is for me. I felt like it was a good lecture or classroom book of notes that I can use to remember about writing and the craft of writing. For someone like me who feels like he struggles between being an excellent writer and a terrible one (see also: insecurity) it's useful to have what amounts to a literary coach on your shoulder encou [...]


    19. I found this book annoying. It is written in the second person, with each sentence set apart from the next on the page, as though a Zen master was addressing a somewhat slow disciple and wanted to make each statement very, very clear. There's some good advice, some bad, and a lot of repetition.



    20. Several Short Sentences About Writing is a beautiful book about rethinking the way we write, starting at the sentence level. Here Klinkenborg describes how we are taught to fear our own thinking and conclusions as we read and write. He refutes things we’ve been taught since childhood -- topic sentences, transitions, and ideas like writers block and inspiration. “Why were you taught to dwell on transitions?” he asks. “It was assumed you can’t write clearly. And that even if you could wr [...]


    21. This was recommended to me (as someone writing a dissertation) at a conference, and so I picked it up at the library and read it on a plane on the way to another conference. It is not long, and it is written in a conversational style. The author lays out the text like a poem, so it is really easy to read without getting lost in long paragraphs of text (I think that was sort of the point). All that being said, I probably wouldn't have given it five stars for the main body of the text itself. But [...]


    22. I've long admired Klinkenborg's short reflections in the The New York Times, on the rural life, and so I eagerly picked up his new book on writing. It's a slight but valuable read; it's also a perfect companion to the practice of mindfulness. "Practice noticing," he says, which is "catching your sleeve on the thorn of the thing you notice/And paying attention as you free yourself." (Yes, it's written in a kind of free verse.) He urges more thinking than writing, and in this I believe he is a gen [...]


    23. This book cuts a small hole into the pocket where you hold your assumptions about writing.About reading, too. The assumptions exit with the weight of heavy rocks, but with the volume of more coins than you though could fit. They fall irretrivably into a pond beside you, the source of your drinking water.You watch the concentric circles ripple, and consider what you have lost, and might gain. The writing is terse and didactic. It is also like a long poem. It is contra the veneration of writers, " [...]


    24. I have been thinking about this quote:"Imagine a cellist playing one of Bach's solo suites.Does he consider his audience?(Did Bach, for that matter?)Does he play the suite differently to audiences Of different incomes and educations and socialbackgrounds?No. The work selects its audience."(p. 142)


    25. This book is kinda meta,It is both a guide and an example of excellent writing.As if it was written using itself as a guideline.P.S: Spotted it in a bookstore, ended up reading almost half of it on the spot. Now its one of very few physical books I own.


    26. This is my new favorite craft book. It's a collection of concise little lines about writing and some of them almost feel like Zen koans, riddle-like, like I learn as much from the white space around the lines as I do from the lines themselves.





    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *