I’m reading a non-fiction book, which is very rare for me. It’s called How to Write A Sentence, and it’s written by Stanley Fish. As I say, I’m in the process of reading it. It’s rather short, which I think is all to the good. Mr. Fish has a point to make about thoughtful appreciation for sentence structure, and I’m thankful that he makes his point without a lot of repetitious belaboring.
Still, I do wonder what kind of help this book will be in guiding me as a writer. It’s good to think about how sentences are put together, and still better to analyze what the sentence does and how it contributes to the paragraph that contributes to the chapter that contributes to the novel (or short story or blog post).
I guess what I’m wondering is, if you think about sentence structures enough, does it become ingrained enough in your mind that you don’t have to go through your work sentence-by-sentence, looking at each and asking yourself “What is this sentence doing?” Because I can’t imagine that anyone would ever write anything if that were the case.
Although, I only write this little blog. What do I know?
Is the art of putting together a sentence guided by the intellectual exercise of pulling it apart or by a general feeling of a sentence “sounding right?” Do our great writers have an instinctive sense of what makes a good sentence without having to think about it too hard?
Or is writing well more of an intellectual exercise than I had previously imagined?
That is entirely possible. What do you think?
Love you & leave you,