Read the excerpt from Tredinnick‘s book below:
“To write well is to make your sentences well. Whatever you want to write, it’s sentences you’re going to need to master. Your task is to get to the end of each sentence, one after the other. But not just any old how. You have to get somewhere and take your reader with you: and you want to get there well – elegantly, economically, gracefully, reasonably. You don’t want to trip, and you don’t want your reader to stumble. .. a sentence is just like a gravel path through a forest. It’s a track, not a road; it’s a trail, not a footpath. You want it to feel finished, but not mass-produced. You don’t want it to be anonymous. You want it to have a bit of personality, preferably its own, which will resemble yours. You want it … to rise and fall. And you want it to take a sensible, and reasonably straight, path to wherever it’s meant to be going. So, if you have something to write, concentrate on your sentences and take them one at a time. Put down the burden of the whole huge book, the suite of poems, the letter, the report or the essay. Don’t carry that monster on your back. When walking, as the Buddhists say, just walk. When writing, just write. Specifically, write that sentence. And then write this one. Walk it elegantly, and let it suggest, let it even express, everything you mean to say, in the way it tells its own short story – for every sentence is a short story. The way it takes the bends.”
Write On Wednesdays Exercise 11 – Take a Walk: “Come back home and write what you encountered. Try to write so that your sentences feel the way the walking felt.” Let’s toss the 5 minute sprint aside this week and instead take a lingering stroll through our exercise. Participants are encouraged to write a first draft (the point being to get it out on the page), then to go through and edit their piece before posting. We’re aiming to get from one place to another, taking the reader with us – economically, gracefully, elegantly.
Lucy stepped gingerly from the bus. Fumes faltered in the summer air, thick with humidity. She wiped grime and sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand and looked, for the hundredth time, at the address scribbled on the back of a Thai take out menu. Briefly she wondered if she should have copied it onto a piece of clean paper but as the lights changed and she stepped from the curb the thought disappeared. Looking up she saw buildings of great architecture standing impressive and tall before her. They stood foreboding, their blank windows menacing. Lucy pushed on, her ankles throbbing in the heat. She felt beads of moisture collecting on her forehead and in pools under her eyes. She lingered in the spots where the great trees reached over the footpath, stopping occasionally to switch the shoulder she carried her bag on, sometimes taking a sip of water. She checked the address and squinted as she looked for matching names on the buildings around her. She felt the burden of an all night study session weighing her body down and stared at the street before her, heat steaming uncomfortably in front of her eyes. There were people, maybe other students, mingling further down the road. Sighing, she strode toward them, her sundress clinging everywhere it shouldn’t and butterflies dancing in her stomach.
Not sure if I truly achieved what I intended to this week! Better than nothing at all though.