What is a Good Sentence?
Hip-hip-hurray! Hip-hip-hurray! Hip-hip-hurray!…Okay, enough elementary cheers; let us commence with three big-league writing cheers. First at bat is sentence number one, who never fails to strongly lead off the team of sentences he is a part of: “The first thing to ask when writing a sentence is ‘What am I trying to do?'” (Fish 41). This batter’s simple-seeming “base-is” of conglomerating a sentence is phenomenal by way of carving the path of intention–something every writer needs to develop. Next at bat, “The goal is to communicate forcefully whatever perspective or emphasis or hierarchy of concerns attaches to your present purposes,”–obviously more focused on the present plays of the game. This second batter takes an aggressive approach to stay alert of the team’s main concerns, by use of the word “forceful.” This way of communication–following a hierarchy attached to concerns– is important because we are constantly bombarded by too much (often useless) variety, such as television commercials, that we do not need to be concerned with. Last up for bat is a well known all-star, Aristotle, who encouraged “to make language so transparent a medium that it disappears and interposes no obstacle or screen between the reader and the things it points to.” What a concept–also, like the second batter’s, especially difficult to achieve in today’s world–that language can flow from the heart of a writer to the heart of the reader. Reaching this medium in writing is incredible in that simulates a real-world setting. For example, after reading the Narnia and The Lord of the Rings series’, many readers forget they are physically staring at words on a page because their imagination of mind and hopefully heart is catching every thing the author throws at them. Final score: Batters of Literature-3, Lazy Writers-0.
Expansion on the First Quoted Sentence
Answering the question “What am I trying to do?” is the first step in writing. Am I trying to entertain the reader or solely myself? Is what I am saying important to the reader or just me? Upon beginning the writing after answering the overarching question above, the next thing to do is just write what I think because it’s content that comes first…just kidding!…FORMS FIRST! Content is weak and worthless without using form throughout each and every sentence. FORMS FIRST! Structure of a sentence gives that sentence logic. FORMS FIRST! Good relationships between words in a sentence produce good sentences in a paragraph, and so on. FORMS FIRST! We are pattern-seeking humans and we relish in the tasty worldly works, past, present, and yet to come, from the wombs of great writers’ hearts!