I wonder how many of us have ever asked our readers to believe in talking elephants: While talking with a friend, an elephant trumpeted. Or dancing coral reefs: Dancing on Friday, the coral reef sprung back into my memory. Or imagine fruit-eating lions: While eating fruit … [Read more...] about How to avoid talking elephants. Fixing faulty introductory phrases
In the following sentence, a vital comma is missing. Where do you think it should go… and why? If you come over on Friday evening we’ll have a roast dinner. That sentence is composed of two elements that we need to be aware of. … [Read more...] about A tiny comma edit guaranteed to make a massive improvement
Ken Follett opens The Pillars of the Earth with a stark and unsettling line. The small boys came early to the hanging. I was gripped and repulsed at once. Shocked and intrigued. And I read on, hooked. I knew Ken Follett had done something right. And I wondered what. … [Read more...] about Sentence cadence. Uncovering this secret of great prose in “The Pillars of the Earth”
When I finished my first few blogs, I realised that I had based many of my descriptions on “complete sentences”. But what are complete sentences? I decided not to add a description of that to my other posts; they were already full size. However, I knew I couldn’t leave it out … [Read more...] about What makes a complete sentence?