Thursday, April 25, 2013

Writing a good sentence | writers who have skin in the game

Writing a good sentence is having to hit the bull’s-eye each and every time. A sentence has to serve so many purposes. It has to provide forward momentum. It has to tell us what we need to know. It has to suggest character. It has to stand at a correct distance from the characters in order to let the reader know the authorial attitude. It has to have within it a kind of kinetic energy that reflects the book’s or a character’s tone. Its construction has to illuminate the larger preoccupations of the book. It has to be disciplined and cannot be beautiful for the sake of beauty. The rhythmic interplay between sentences determines length and sound, smoothness versus percussiveness, which words end one sentence and which begin the next.
--Marisa Silver.

I like fiction by writers engaged in trying to make sense of their lives and of the world in which they find themselves, writers who palpably have skin in the game, and this makes me particularly resistant to historical fiction.
--Jonathon Franzen

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