Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sizzle Those Sentences

"No sentence exists in isolation; a writer must also consider how it rubs up against the other sentences on either side."
~ Ralph Fletcher




In his book, Pyrotechnics on the Page, my long-time favorite writing guru, Ralph Fletcher, shows us a variety of ways to make our writing sizzle. One of my favorite things about ANY Fletcher text, is that he never gives instruction without example--and the examples are always wonderful! 

In a chapter on "Harnessing the Supple Power of Sentences", he suggests strategies like:
  • intentional fragments and run-ons 
  • the strength behind short, snappy sentences 
  • the 1-2-3 cadence
  • sentence reversals
With each strategy, he provides examples that make the "what" and "how" of implementing it perfectly clear. 

If you are looking for a new book about craft, Google Ralph Fletcher or go HERE to visit his website, and then choose one! I have almost every one of his books, and they are well-loved.

26 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Thank you for sharing this. He sounds wonderful. I'll check out his books.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon .. he sounds like an exceptionally good reference source .. I'll bear his name in mind. Love the title "Pyrotechnics on the Page"!

Your notes books for Lenny are fun .. he sounds so chuffed ..

Enjoy the week .. Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Who doesn't want sizzling sentences snapping off the page?

Old Kitty said...

Another brilliant recommendation from you, thank you!!!

p.s. I love what you are currently reading..!! Take care
x

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Woohoo for Save The Cat! Are you loving it!? I personally love the power of a short sentence. I like fragments, but run-ons make me a little crazy ;) I'll have to check this out to see what I can do about lengthy sentences, and how to implement the power of one. Thanks for sharing!

Laurel Garver said...

I want a sparkler pencil!! The one on the book cover looks so cool.

I've always been much better at this kind of sentence level stylistics (yay poetry coursework) than the bigger plot arc stuff.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Wow. How true. Awesome quote.

KLo said...

I got to hear Ralph Fletcher speak at a reading conference a couple of years ago, and he was brilliant. His stuff=must read :-)

Jamie Burch said...

Ooh...thank you for sharing this, Shannon! By the way, you look fabulous with pink hair...:)

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Deb said...

Hey, thank you for this, looking forward to learning more about Ralph and working on sizzling my sentences!

BTW-if I have not said it yet, love the pink hair!

Deb

Carolyn V said...

OOOhhhh! It sounds awesome! I love the sizzle. =)

Kari Marie said...

I'm always looking for a good book on the craft. Thank you!

Shari said...

Oooh, just the word sizzle makes me want to read this book. I'll go check them out. Thanks!

Laura Marcella said...

I love books on writing. Thanks for the suggestion!

LeishaMaw said...

That sounds like a great book. Thanks for the recommendation!

Megan K. Bickel said...

I'm always looking for good writing books! Thank you for the suggestion!

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks, Shannon, I've been looking for a book on style and craft, and this sounds just right!

Heather said...

I have to get this book! I've recently discovered the wonder that is short, snappy sentences. Sounds like this book is a must have!

Catherine Denton said...

I need that. My sentences. Tend. To be. Choppy.
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Jemi Fraser said...

Love that quote! It's when some sentences rub up against each other that you can get some sparks to fly! :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I'm always looking for books that will help improve my writing. Thanks for the heads up. Great quote!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love snappy little fragments- they're my favorite writing technique!

Myrna Foster said...

I've never read anything by him. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check out his books!

Michelle said...

sounds great - thanks for the recommendation
xx

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

What a great quote! I'm going to zip over to his site. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Carol Riggs said...

I love that quote! It's so true. Each sentence has its part to play in the symphony/rhythm of a paragraph and a page and a chapter and a novel. Looks like a great book. I love using fragments. :)

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