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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences

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It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

About the Author

June Casagrande is a journalist and editor who writes the weekly syndicated grammar column “A Word, Please.” The author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies and Mortal Syntax, June lives in Pasadena, California.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

 

Introduction The Sentence: The Writer’s Most Important Tool 1

 

Chapter 1  Who Cares? Making Sentences Meaningful to Your Reader 7

 

Chapter 2 Conjunctions That Kill: Subordination 15

 

Chapter 3 Movable Objects: Understanding Phrases and Clauses 29

 

Chapter 4 Size Matters: Short versus Long Sentences 36

 

Chapter 5  Words Gone Wild: Sentences That Say Nothing—or Worse 53

 

Chapter 6 Words Gone Mild: Choosing Specific Words Over Vague Ones 61

 

Chapter 7 A Frequently Overstated Case: The Truth About Adverbs 65

 

Chapter 8 Are Your Relatives Essential? Relative Clauses 72

 

Chapter 9 Antique Desk Suitable for Lady with Thick Legs and Large Drawers: Prepositional Phrases 80

 

Chapter 10 Dangler Danger: Participles and Other Danglers 85

 

Chapter 11 The Writing Was Ignored by the Reader: Passives 90

 

Chapter 12 You Will Have Been Conjugating: Other Matters of Tense 98

 

Chapter 13 The Being and the Doing Are the Killing of Your Writing: Nominalizations 107

 

Chapter 14 The The: Not-So-Definite Definite Articles 112

 

Chapter 15 The Writer and His Father Lamented His Ineptitude: Unclear Antecedents 116

 

Chapter 16 To Know Them Is to Hating Them: Faulty and Funky Parallels 122

 

Chapter 17 Taking the Punk Out of Punctuation: The Problem with Semicolons and Parentheses 125

 

Chapter 18 You Don’t Say: Descriptive Quotation Attributions 131

 

Chapter 19 Trimming the Fat: Expressions That Weigh Down Your Sentences 134

 

Chapter 20 The Major Overhaul: Streamlining Even the Most Problematic Sentences 149

 

Chapter 21 On Breaking the “Rules”: Knowing When to Can the Canons 164

 

Appendix 1 Grammar for Writers 167

Appendix 2 Punctuation Basics for Writers 191

Appendix 3 The Deadliest Catches: The Most Incriminating Errors and How to Avoid Them 204

 

About the Author 208

Index 209

Product Details

ISBN:
9781580087407
Subtitle:
A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences
Author:
Casagrande, June
Publisher:
Ten Speed Press
Subject:
English language -- Sentences.
Subject:
English language -- Rhetoric.
Subject:
Rhetoric
Subject:
Writing Skills
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - General
Subject:
Grammar & Punctuation
Subject:
Reference/Writing
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100727
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
ONE COLOR
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7 x 5 x 0.59 in 0.44 lb

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