I don’t write the same way that speak, but I guess that’s true of most people. Isn’t it? Isn’t that what we are taught? Sometime during middle school we are taught various sentence structures, and value is unintentionally (or maybe it is intentional, I don’t really know) assigned to each. Complex sentences are better than simple ones. Parallel better than dissimilar. And when is it that we learned the wonders of www.thesarus.com? No need to limit word choice to our own vocabularies. The options become multitudinous. However, somewhere along the way our sentences become too long and complicated. Too verbose. We are reprimanded for trying too hard, sacrificing clarity.
The chapters on style and sentence structure reminded me of this. Word choice has purpose (and it is not to sound smart). Word have meaning. They convey tone. And ultimately, the words we select influence our writing style. Sentence structure also influences writing styles. Different structures link ideas differently. Others place emphasis on different subjects. These chapters highlighted that style should not be an afterthought. Style is meant to be a conscious decision to enhance our ideas.
From the Style Masquerade activity I realized that my writing could be clearer. Earnest Hemmingway uses mostly simple sentences, making his main points very apparent. I tend to use longer sentences with multiple clauses, containing various ideas. These sentences are effective in moving ideas along. However, I think it would be beneficial to use simpler sentences to introduce my ideas. Now as I begin to think about “Why I Write,” I am sure to also think about “How I Write”.