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The Passive Voice

The Passive Voice
Related:  Writing Style

The Sound of a Sentence Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing. This is the seventh in a series of writing lessons by the author, starting with the basics and leading to more advanced techniques. At the top of my list of favorite children’s books is “Goodnight Moon,” with its soft lines and easy rhymes (Goodnight stars/ Goodnight air/ Goodnight noises everywhere). The playful language found in children’s books comes naturally to us when we are young. A sailor went to sea sea sea To see what he could see see see And all that he could see see see Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea. As we mature, our delight in sounds becomes less visceral. Recovering the love of language Language can still be an adventure if we remember that words can make a kind of melody. Let’s review some of the devices that allow us to write for the ear. Joe Mortis With onomatopoeia, we name a thing (or action) by imitating the sounds associated with it. Such devices don’t have to be literary.

Girl Who Reads Dean Wesley Smith Ali Smith: Style vs content? Novelists should approach their art with an eye to what the story asks Point 1: "What's it all about?" v "What's it all – a bout?" Fight! Fight! Or did he mean "Ulysses is a tweet"? Nothing is harmful to literature except censorship, and that almost never stops literature going where it wants to go either, because literature has a way of surpassing everything that blocks it and growing stronger for the exercise. Or maybe I'd read one of the most original writers at work in the novel in English right now, Nicola Barker. I was thinking how incredibly precise those first lines were, and yet how crazily effortless they seemed; Schaefer's style (his – ahem – 'voice') so enviably understated, his artistic (if I may be so bold as to use this word, and so early in our acquaintance) 'vision' so totally (and I mean totally) unflinching.' Then he sums up the power the literary styles we love have over us: I am putty – literally putty – in Schaefer's hands … To be manipulated, to be led, to be played, and so artfully. Let's just call it style. Point 3: style as content

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The Moral Premise Alternative authors Alternative authors' versions of Lord of the Rings by Alison Brooks One of the cult novels of the 1970s turned out to be Lord of the Rings. How would this book have turned out had it been written by someone else? Lord of the Rings, by Ian Fleming Aragorn placed his hand on the cool, ivory hilt of his 6.38 Anduril sword, half-holding it in as casual manner as possible. Lord of the Rings, by PG Wodehouse "Sam, I've decided to go and overthrow the Dark Lord by tossing his jewellery into a volcano." "Very good, sir. "Blast! "Very good, sir. "I'll do it then. Lord of the Rings, by Bernard Cornwell "God save Rohan, we ye look at all those orcies," said Sergeant Eomer, looking down the slope near Helm's Deep. Aragorn looked at the multitude. Lord of the Rings, by Oscar Wilde "He bested me in a riddle contest." "A riddle contest?" "It was so. "To cheat in a riddle contest is a riddle in itself, and is therefore not cheating, but just another riddle." "He cheated and asked me what he had in his pockets."

The Creativity Post 100 Exquisite Adjectives By Mark Nichol Adjectives — descriptive words that modify nouns — often come under fire for their cluttering quality, but often it’s quality, not quantity, that is the issue. Plenty of tired adjectives are available to spoil a good sentence, but when you find just the right word for the job, enrichment ensues. Practice precision when you select words. Here’s a list of adjectives: Subscribe to Receive our Articles and Exercises via Email You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed! 21 Responses to “100 Exquisite Adjectives” Rebecca Fantastic list!

CreativINDIE Literature Without Style by Tim Parks What is literary style and why is it bound to change as the novel rapidly goes global? “Style is the transformation the writer imposes on reality,” Proust tells us. We know what he means, perhaps, but the claim hardly helps us describe how a style is created or how it achieves its effects. In fact I can think of no adequate definition of style, if only because it is always diffuse throughout a text. Fog was so dense, bird that had been disturbed went flat into a balustrade and slowly fell, dead at her feet. This is not standard English. It’s easy enough to see how this fragmentation links to what is being described: the loss of direction and orientation a fog causes, the idea of departures, both in train stations and in prose. Headlights of cars above turning into a road as they swept round hooting swept their light above where she walked, illuminating lower branches of trees. So a number of strategies interact in a pattern to create something homogeneous and distinct.