Pico Iyer wrote a playful and eloquent article for the Los Angeles Times about his decision to write long sentences as a form of protest against our world’s obsession with speed. He explained that as a young journalist he had succumbed to the need for speed and crunched his writing into short soundbites, but as he matured in his writing and probably in life too, he discovered the glory of, and more importantly (to me), a powerful rationale for writing longer sentences. I’ve always wanted to find a solid defense for the long sentence, so that I could write on without inpunity, but had never come up with anything clever, and so it was a real pleasure for me to find this article.
Follows is the most beautiful, and one of the longest sentences in his article that gives a colourful, heartfelt explanation of his decision to write long sentences. Prepare to be amazed.
Enter (I hope) the long sentence: the collection of clauses that is so many-chambered and lavish and abundant in tones and suggestions, that has so much room for near-contradiction and ambiguity and those places in memory or imagination that can’t be simplified, or put into easy words, that it allows the reader to keep many things in her head and heart at the same time, and to descend, as by a spiral staircase, deeper into herself and those things that won’t be squeezed into an either/or.
My experience with the local Vancouver writing community
How online critiquing works
Pros of online critiquing
Cons of online critiquing
Tips for using an online critique group successfully
In October of this year (2010), I volunteered at two writing and reading festivals, the ViWF and the SiWC and they were very valuable and enjoyable experiences for me. I met a lot of writers, local and international, and I even had the chance to have conversations and learn from several successful authors. Continue reading →
Does your writing have style? 'Writing' by jjpacres on Flickr
In this post I’ll give you a free style guide template to work with, and I’ll cover the following:
What is a style guide?
Why create a personal style guide?
How to create a style guide.
In university we learn about style guides such as MLA and APA, which are so confusing that you practically need a guide to use them–especially if you take a psychology and a history class at the same time! But style guides don’t have to be complicated or long–they can be as short as one page!
My first run-in with a simple, personalized style guide really delighted me, so I thought I would share this simple tool with you. Continue reading →
“the description of the ways in which words can change their forms and be combined to form sentences.“
For example, “I pie eated” is not grammatically correct, because the word “To eat” has not been formed ‘correctly’, and the order of the words is ‘incorrect’. The grammatically correct form is “I ate pie.”
Grammar has two aspects:
Morphology : the forms a word can take (how words change: eat/eats/ate/eaten or city/cities/city’s/cities’ or do/doable/done/undone/did/redo).
For the writers (and readers) out there who have not read (or who have not finished reading) William Gibson’s Neuromancer
NEUROMANCER! Well, I don’t want to come across as a book snob, but I do have to ask: How can you call yourself a well-read fictionado without having read Neuromancer? (In classic Lily-style) I’m going to give you at least 25 reasons why Neuromancer is an amazing book, and a must-read for anyone delving into the finer points of fiction-writing (and reading). Continue reading →
This article is for beginner to advanced native and second-language English speakers and teachers. For a shortened version of this lesson, download my lesson, Advanced Sentences, and feel free to use or adapt it, without copyright.
This article contains the following sections, feel free to jump down to any of them:
The Importance of Grammar
Types of Sentences
What is a Sentence Fragment
The 7 Sentence Fragments
Examples of the 7 Sentence Fragments
Examples of Long Sentences Using Many Fragments
Sentence Fragment Lessons for English/ESL Teachers
The Importance of Grammar
Run! by Glenn~ on flickr
As an ESL teacher, I found that my own writing drastically improved once I started teaching grammar to my students–especially the 7 different types of sentence fragments. I had learned English grammar in high-school, but those classes were boring; I had more important things to concentrate on, such as the outfit I was wearing, or how dreamy Cory Haim was in License to Drive. When I started teaching grammar as an ESL teacher, I was actually re-teaching myself, and the most valuable aspect of grammar that I re-learned was the 7 sentence fragments.
Understanding how to use these fragments properly will help you:
Write sentences that are grammatically correct, because you will finally understand grammar
Write longer sentences
Write sentences that have different structures, which is important for rhythm and flow (the musical aspects of language)
Use commas properly, because you will finally know where to put them!
I am convinced that most writers–beginner and advanced–need more practice in understanding and using sentence fragments properly, and I hope this lesson will help you learn to write more eloquent and grammatically correct sentences.
We live in what is called the ‘information age’ and the world has been called the ‘Content Nation‘; people are now able to create content at rates that were truly unreachable even 20 years ago, and share that with people on the other side of the world. It’s amazing–and very overwhelming. Pete Cashmore (of Mashable) predicted that ‘content curation’–organization and sharing of the ‘best’ content online–would be one of the biggest web trends of 2010. Continue reading →
Well, up until today, I was only tweeting my blog posts once, but lately I have noticed that some bloggers that I am following are tweeting their posts more than once. So, I did some research and here is what I found: Continue reading →
Collaborative self publishing within a social network
I recently read an interesting blog post about the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. regular publishing that really made me think long and hard about how self-publishing could be made more successful. The answer that I came up with is a collaborative publishing platform. I don’t think it has really been done yet, and definitely not in a truly collaborative way.