Sunday, May 22, 2016

BOOK BRIEF: "Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose"

Constance Hale's second book on writing, Sin and Syntax, offers a simple structure for looking at sentences: the parts of speech, followed by the parts of a sentencejust as most of us learned in elementary school. And she does so with excellent results. Her love of authors' inventiveness and trenchant commentary about what make bad writing bad make this a useful reference book for writing students.

After Parts 1 (Words) and 2 (Sentences), Hale concludes with a third part she titles "Music," an apt name for a study in how the writers who employ the rhythm and lyricism of language engage readers. The eclectic examples will keep you reading.