The Moving Word

Writer, Preacher, Bookworm, Student of the Word

Analyze These Sentences

From time to time, I will be sharing some writing for you to break down for me, so we can grow. These sentences are from a book I picked up at the library. These are from the first three pages of a book that will soon be back on the shelf.

“What is crime fiction, the kind of writing that you, who have taken up this book, are contemplating bringing into existence?”

“Crime writers have to take a decision that, even though they may feel they have something to say, they will subordinate the saying of it, where necessary to the simple task of keeping their readers’ noses stuck in the pages.”

“Let’s start with the classical detective story, sometimes called the old-fashioned detective story.”

“Most of the other forms of crime fiction spring from it, either in angry reaction or attempted improvement. A lot of what it has in it is also to be found in all sorts of other books in the genre. Even a writer as far removed from the field covered in this book as John Le Carre owes a great deal, in all but his latest work, to the blueprint detective story. So even if it makes no particular appeal to you, read I beg you, this chapter.”

What do you think of these sentences? How can they be improved?

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5 thoughts on “Analyze These Sentences

  1. What do I think? The author has no business writing. I know that’s harsh.

  2. Hard to argue with your reasoning. Strangely, the writer of this book is an award winning author and has great blurbs on the book. I’m confused, personally.

  3. I found his or her writing to be excessively wordy and confusing. I’m sure it is intended to be conversational. I have a photography book like that, but that author isn’t purporting to be teaching others how to write.

  4. Did he just accidentally spill commas on his page? Or perhaps he was out of semicolons and periods. That last one made my hair hurt it was so bad.

  5. These sentences are terrible. I was an English minor at MTSU, and I would have been flunked for using such poor grammar. Unfortunately, we are living in an age that does not see the importance using correct grammar.

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