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TheCloudFestival t1_j8nn8z8 wrote

Not only is the opening 'line' bad, but the book is essentially unreadable. It was written in the style of the time, which was a loose collection of several page long run-on sentences.


Some0neAwesome t1_j8nsfho wrote

I read quite a few books from this era when I was in high school to try to expand my understanding of how the population perceived the world and how that affected common behaviors that have since gone to the wayside. You are absolutely right about the writing style. I was getting marked down for run-on sentences constantly on my assignments because the writing style rubbed off on me. To this day, I still have a habit of writing long, run-on sentences. That, or I overcorrect and end up with short and blunt sentences.


Ferec t1_j8our7m wrote

I suspect you've probably heard the Gary Provost quote before but I always think of it when i worry about sentence length. There's nothing wrong with long or short sentences. You just have to vary them. I think English teachers forget that sometimes.

Anyway, for anyone not familiar with the quote...

>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.


bokononon t1_j8p2etw wrote

I suspect you've probably read Alexander Pope's similar lesson on writing :-) --

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offense,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense:
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar;
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labors, and the words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise!


TheCloudFestival t1_j8qvn2o wrote

Ah, the joy of English's iambic pentameter.

Or as I used to say when I taught English as a foreign language 'English sounds like Tum-tee-Tum-tee-Tum-tee-Tum.'


DTJ20 t1_j8phl9v wrote

I've always hated that, for the five words he just says monotonous things, I get that its hyperbole, but it comes across as disingenuous


Apostastrophe t1_j8pwcnd wrote

I see what you did there. Whether intentional or not.

Thank you for your art.


chris_ut t1_j8o1moh wrote

We wore an onion on our belt and wrote several page long run-on sentences as was the style at the time.


epochpenors t1_j8p9z4e wrote

“I wrote a story that was only one sentence!”

“Oh like the classic ‘for sale: baby shoes, never worn’?”

“No it was about two hundred pages”


gdmfsoabrb t1_j8peuoz wrote

Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a copy editor.


kaenneth t1_j8qlhq4 wrote

My personal 6-word-story is "He knelt, she gasped, sprinters start."


epochpenors t1_j99d22c wrote

How about “he knelt, she gasped, the cunnalingus classes had paid off”