Jul 25, 2011

Building Great Sentences

I've been taking a dvd course, Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft, taught by Professor Brooks Landon of the University of Iowa, which I borrowed from my crit partner, Dennis Strachota -- a talented and interesting guy, Tendrak Theatre.

 For awhile, I've sometimes felt something was missing from my writing, felt it was stilted and flat. This series of 24 lectures is solving this problem for me.

"Most of the sentences we write can be improved by adding propositions which help explain the sentence, or by adding details which clarify information it advances"

The additions, however, must be helpful, logical and easy to follow. Doesn't mean we add on tangents or phrases that distract the reader from the purpose of our sentence and scene.

"Cumulative sentences have the ability to add information that actually makes the sentence easier to read and make it more satisfying, flying in the face of the received idea that cutting words rather than adding them is the most effective way to improve writing."

Prof. Landon says, sometimes less is not more, more is more and in many cases, more is what our writing needs.

My natural inclination has always been toward this kind of writing, so I feel set free and more confident about unleashing my preferred style, voice and expression, especially now that I have the tools to execute what's in my head onto the page. It was a very 'aha' moment for me.

Therefore, it's a series I'd recommend. It's currently on sale. From The Teaching Company. I'm glad Dennis was kind enough to lend it to me.

Have you had any 'aha' moments lately?