Gary Provost was born 14 November 1944 and died 1995
- Hear how the use of the wrong word wakes you from your reading spell.
- 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 the 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.
- If you write well and honestly, with character rising from background and action springing from character, and if you remain true to your vision of life, then theme will emerge in the reading process. And if you write what you believe, and only what you believe, the theme will inevitably be consistent.
- When you are describing things and places the reader has seen, keep description short by reminding him of the pictures he has on file. When you are describing things and places the reader has not seen, keep description short by using pieces of the pictures he has on file to create new pictures.
- There is only one quality that I ask you to bring to this book. Humility about your writing. You cannot succeed without it. You must have the humility to know that writing that looks clever to you might be boring, that something beautifully written might be unnecessary, that something very personal to you might be meaningless to distant readers.
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