This book is not available in our membership service
This book is not yet available in our membership service due to
restrictions in our agreements with the publisher. We hope to be able
to offer this title in our membership service as soon as possible. In the meantime you can purchase this book individually.
It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences
Great writing isn’t born, it’s built—sentence by sentence. But too many writers—and writing guides—overlook this most important unit. The result? Manuscripts that will never be published and writing careers that will never begin.
In this wickedly humorous manual, language columnist June Casagrande uses grammar and syntax to show exactly what makes some sentences great—and other sentences suck.
With chapters on “Conjunctions That Kill” and “Words Gone Wild,” this lighthearted guide is perfect for anyone who’s dead serious about writing, from aspiring novelists to nonfiction writers, conscientious students to cheeky literati. So roll up your sleeves and prepare to craft one bold, effective sentence after another. Your readers will thank you.
Reviews for It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentenc...
Why I read it: Passed it in the library. I was curious what an entire book about sentences could even be filled with (to differentiate itself from, say, a grammar book), especially as someone who loves playing with sentences on the (rare) occasions that she writes creatively. Figured at most I'd skim the table of contents for a handful of chapters of interest and glance through them.Pros: I actually ended up either reading or skimming through the entire thing. The book does have a lot of grammar explanation, but (at least initially) explains the grammar to help readers understand the different parts sentences are made from so they can experiment with them. Stresses not following writing/grammar rules but knowing how to follow them, so that any bending or breaking of them can be done purposefully rather than from ignorance and clumsiness. Tone is lighthearted and conversational, sometimes even funny.Cons: The book focuses primarily on how to cut common mistakes out of sentences, and swap around sections (clauses/phrases/words) to improve readability. While the book does give nod to great sentences that break the rules semi-frequently, it would still be better described as (rather than a "guide to crafting killer sentences" as it states on the cover) a guide to not crafting crap sentences. This was especially true in the latter half of the book when many of the chapters could be summed up as "and here's another mistake I see all the time as an editor that you generally should not do." Conclusion: As a former linguistics student, I am to language as the mischievous child left unattended with a radio and screw driver. I like to pull the thing apart and see all the bits and pieces work together to make the whole chunks we use unthinking every day and take for granted. This book--at least some chapters of it--did satisfy that urge in me. Still, I'd rather have read a book about how to create great sentences, and seen more analysis into the murkier waters of things like rhythm and tone versus grammar. But even if the scope of the book is more modest than it appears, there isn't a person out there who doesn't regularly create crap sentences, so it's not as if there isn't something to be taken from here.On the other hand, as a sometimes-writer, I never expected to actually learn anything from this I didn't already have some awareness of, and indeed I didn't. Still, it does heighten that awareness of the building blocks of a sentence, which is something I always enjoy having more of, and I think can be helpful for writers--both for th purpose of not creating crap sentences, as well as creating great ones. ...As to why I pretty much read the entire book when I sound a bit underwhelmed by the contents... It was that easy, humorous tone and, well... The writing was all just so very readable.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.