I’ve been spending the last few months doing big-picture thinking, brainstorming, and revising. So it has been really lovely re-reading Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, and getting back to paragraphs, sentences, and words.
I especially loved the chapter on sentences:
The well-made sentence transcends time and genre . . . regardless of when it was written, or whether it appears in a play or a magazine article. Which is just one of the many reasons why it’s pleasurable and useful to read outside of one’s own genre.
If you haven’t read or re-read Reading Like a Writer lately, or, if you don’t have the time to sink into it right now, take a peek at this article on Literary Hub.
Or this review at The Guardian.
The sentence is worthy of, and deserves, our “deep respect and enraptured attention.” But what IS a beautiful sentence? Francine Prose takes the entire chapter to tell us, but it must be vigorous, energetic, and, above all, clear.