TJ Parsell, Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man’s Prison
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Ever since I finished My Sister’s Keeper years ago, I haven’t been able to find this story . I couldn’t find it on quote websites and I couldn’t exactly remember what it was either, except for the fact that it was absolutely stunning. As we all know, the best things come to us when we’re supposed to be asleep, and this case is no exception. I’ve just found the paragraph, after searching FOR YEARS. I’m so excited I just have to share it with you.
This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.
Gary Provost (quoted in Roy Peter Clark’s Writing Tools)