Professor Guerrero's Blog

mguerrero@google.com

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories of a Latino immigrant's success in USA; a journey from West Harlem to Sutton Place and Park Avenue. Check out the reviews in Amazon.com and in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

My best sellers are my translations of La Dame aux Camelias and Madam Bovary

Professor Guerrero's Blog: Introduction to Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers Professor Guerrero's Blog: Book Reviews, Human Interest Articles, Accounting Lessons, and Writing Techniques

Book Reviews  

Books

Sentence Openers Book: FREE Lessons

Jane Austen  

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy

How to Become a Writer  

Personal Finance  

Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

Greeks Romans Trojans  

Feminism  

Great Gatsby: Is Nick Gay?

All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.

Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99


Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language. Transliterated into easy language for enjoyable reading pleasure. Because The Lazarillo of Tormes pointed a new direction, European and American literature benefited with titles that today are considered classics: Cervantes’ Rinconete and Cortadillo; Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews; Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random, and Peregrine Pickle; Voltaire’s Candide; Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. And many others to include American works ranging from Mark Twain to Saul Bellow.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art. According to Ortega, the arts don't have to tell a human story; art should deal with its own forms—and not with the human form.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic. This e-book teaches how to break the pattern Subject-verb-object--and discard openings that begin with nouns, articles, and pronouns.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality. While business terminology is interwoven throughout these short stories, it's not business lessons that I take away with me, but life lessons. The circumstances and the characters' profound humanity are relatable despite their zip code . "Luke, Postmodern Man" offers a new vista into faith, suffering, and love of neighbor. Way after you read this book you'll find yourself thinking about the various characters throughout the series of stories and will find solace in their unwavering faith. The narrators' ability to reflect on their hardships with such serenity is inspiring.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers! Every page is filled with great writing tips, training lessons, and wonderful useful writing skills! Not only do I write essays for college, but also short stories!
--IVONNIE Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK













All my books are now in KINDLE


Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99
Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Sentence Openers
East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5


The most beloved short story from Spanish literature
All my books are in NOOK $0.99 or in Amazon KINDLE $0.99








All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.
Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99

Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers!
--Ivonnie Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK





Available in KINDLE $0.99


Available in KINDLE $0.99

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Introduction to Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers



PART I — LANGUAGE: GRAMMAR, SYNTAX, AND RHETORIC

 

 Model: Vanessa Duran

Chapter — 1 Introduction to Sentence Openers 


If technique is of no interest to a writer, I doubt that the writer is an artist.
Marianne Moore
 

The adjective is the enemy of the noun.
Voltaire
Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.
Scout, in To Kill a Mockinbird
Americans’ speech, or to be more precise, speech habits that most use from cradle to grave, follow a strong pattern that often impedes them from writing well crafted sentences.
 “Kay shaved her hair.”
Subject (Kay), verb (shaved), and Object (her hair): S-V-O
When people write, they bring their speech habits into writing. That is why so much of the English newspaper articles, essays, journals, legal briefs, and fiction that we read today are so soporific, even though the themes might be interesting. Just imagine your reading a lengthy paragraph full of these S-V-O sentences.
How many times have you, as a reader, found yourself putting a book down, never to pick it up again? Countless times I’d say. And all because many writers tend to write as they speak.
People in general are unwilling to give up life-time habits, even knowing that they have to be forsaken. Are you a writer that clings to the S-V-O pattern of writing? If so, you aren’t alone for sure, you are in the company of legions of writers who do just that.
In fact, the great philosopher Socrates—who by the way never wrote a book—decried writing as a deceptive invention, and loved to spend countless hours at the agora (the local market) gabbing, arguing, and speechifying until his wife Xantippe would send someone to fetch him.
Being a gabber, Socrates’ fear was that wisdom would ultimate reside in books rather than in the mind or in live dialectics. So he preferred speech over writing. In contrast, Plato —Socrates disciple— was a writer, and his Platonic Dialogues are writing at its best.
In Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus, the god Thoth, the inventor of writing, is accused of encouraging mental laziness: ‘a sure receipt for memory and wisdom.’ This is myth lore invented by Socrates and Plato to favor speech over writing, for according to them, only speech and dialectics point to true knowledge.
Because Francis Bacon —the great Elizabethan courtier and scholar— saw speech (“Idols of the Cave”) as a barrier to true knowledge, he went on to write many books. In the end gossip and false testimony (speech), much to his ill-fortune, gained him a year in the London Tower; an incident that confirmed Bacon’s thesis that speech may be distorted.
As it turned out, today we realize that writing and books have become the warehouses of wisdom. It is with the written word that wisdom is created, preserved, and expanded in the different levels of human endeavor. Even symbolic logic and mathematics need the written word to lock and secure exact meanings. Scientists use language to put forth their discoveries, their insights, and to falsify or verify them empirically. Philosopher Jacques Derrida sees in writing-in-general an entire system that nourishes the human race—archi-écriture.
Why should we write in the manner in which we speak?
By writing in the same way that we speak, we take the easiest path to writing—the path of least resistance—and end up overusing the soporific pattern “John hit the ball.”
There’s neither elegance nor eloquence in boring and disrespecting your reader with the S-V-O pattern.
Follow this excerpt:
She would not tell me what I wanted to know if she had wanted to. She would not take the time to even verify his date of birth. She was wide-eyed, blond haired, in her mid-twenties, and obviously bored at the job. Her friends had nicknamed her ‘Bambi.’ I gathered that much, because she greeted my every request with the haunted look of a dear caught in the headlights. She said no to everything. I finally gave up. I kept thinking that people like that exist only to make my life miserable.
How boring! The S-V-O pattern gets old in no time. Based on this, I’ve concluded that a serious writer should think carefully about opening a sentence with a noun or a pronoun of any kind, be they definite, indefinite, or possessive.
That is not to say that the S-V-O pattern isn’t useful, or that it should never be used. What we advocate is that writers limit their use in consecutive sentences.
To anticipate objections, I will bring up one counter example: the opening lines of Pride and Prejudice:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
Isn’t “It” a pronoun and didn’t Jane Austen write that famous sentence opener? My answer is that unless you can prove that you can write better than her and sell more books than her—you shouldn’t do it. Even worse, you shouldn’t even think about opening your sentences with variations of the verb ‘To be,’ such as (It is, It was, or It was not until…).
As I said before, although you won’t totally abandon the old pattern, you will see —as you read this guide— that there are more interesting ways to express thoughts. And as you adopt our techniques, you will combine them with the S-V-O pattern to achieve a more rhythmic, graceful style.
Mature writers —in particular those considered literary writers— are aware of the monotony of the S-V-O pattern and watch their sentence openers with uncompromising passion. By mixing their sentence openers with the S-V-O pattern, they add emphasis, variety, and rhythm to their writing.
Ah, the secret of fine writing unveiled here!
Let’s recognize that speech and prose are different. Speech is instantaneous, fleeting, and ethereal; prose is lasting, fixed, and earthly. However, our techniques used often enough will positively impact your speech, making it livelier and bringing you more rapt attention.
With a quick rearrangement of the S-V-O pattern, master fiction writers may create an expectation, prodding the reader to move to the next sentence and on to the next paragraph. And you need not become a grammatical genius —just a writer with an open mind who’s undaunted by grammatical labels. Vary your sentence openers and the magical dimension of fine writing will unfold in front of you. The S-V-O patterns slow down writers, halting them, obstructing them, forcing them to full stops—like speed bumps on the road.
Grammarian Virginia Tufte in her Grammar as Style, says:
Neither is he sentence opener a static factor, a grammatical fixed point to which the elements that follow are attached. On the contrary, the opener can be a crucial first move, overcoming inertia, ushering us into a thought, or nudging us backward for an instant, before activating necessary grammatical momentum to send us off in one syntactical direction or another.
Sentence Openers may be grouped as follows:

·                  Verbal Openers: infinitives, present participle (—ing), and past participle
·                  Subordinating Conjunctions as Openers
·                  Coordinating Conjunctions as Openers
·                  Prepositional Phrases as Openers
·                  Similes as Openers
·                  Absolutes as Openers

You may purchase Sentence Openers at amazon.com

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Professor Guerrero's Blog

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories that will warm your heart - See 101 reviews in Amazon.com and 37 in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

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