Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Economical Writing

A sentence needs a subject and a predicate which are usually a noun or pronoun and a verb. Poul Anderson's descriptive passages are usually economical, e.g.:

"Wind whittered." (The Man-Kzin Wars, p. 101)

Elsewhere, wind wails, whines, wakes and wuthers. (See here.)

"Rain roared." (Here.)

Short sentences, maybe too short for some of us to think of, but they serve their purpose and therefore are right in their contexts. One rule of writing is never to write a longer sentence, paragraph, text or series if a shorter one will suffice. Anderson's novels are compact, usually quite short. When they are longer, it is because they have more content, not just more words.

1 comment:

  1. Paul:
    I notice, too, that the samples you quoted are all alliterative.

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