Saturday, June 13, 2009

Inspired by Writing

I'm reading again. A little.

Anyway, I just came to a passage in my current read (God is an Englishman) and it literally made me stop, put the book down, think, pick it back up and read the passage again - then one more time for good measure. I've always been inspired by writing, but sometimes I read books that become so monotonous that I forget just how great reading a well written book can be.
She wore successive states of mind like petticoats picked up and put on at random so that it was a matter of chance which one was innermost and which would show when she hitched her skirt.

The choice was regulated, of course, by mood, but the factors that dictated the mood were beyond her control, so that she was never in the least sure how she would regard the future when she woke up or how it would appear when she blew out her candle and lay watching the moonbeams on the ceiling of the little room over the porch that she had been told to call her own.
Something I noticed about this book are the long sentences broken up by many commas. I'm a comma over user myself. I sometimes use them so much that I end up with a paragraph that is one continual sentence. I always go back and break the L O N G sentence up into smaller ones, though, because it was always taught to me that long sentences were wrong. But reading this book has me thinking... Maybe it's okay. Because as long as there are commas involved it's not considered a run on, right?

If this post seems at all random to you it is because of the wine in the glass that I am currently nursing.

Back to reading.


  1. And may I say "Cheers" and Happy Friday! / Saturday... love your writing inspired / wine induced Musings, Brie! More! ;P

  2. Hey Brie :)

    Well you know, it seems that a lot of convention about writing is changing. I was taught never to start a sentence by a preposition (But, and, because), but apparently, it's becoming more and more common and accepted. So maybe yes, long sentences broken up by commas are okay.

  3. This is a great passage with the petticoats analogy. Thanks for posting it - I love to read little tidbits people love.

    On commas and length, I believe it's best to vary sentence length, and commas are fine. Hey, look at Henry James. He's the ultimate offender. I know a lot of writers feel that super long sentence works great when it's with short sentences, and vice versa.

  4. Hils! :)

    Nath, I was taught the same things about prepositions. I try to stick with it, but I find myself breaking that "rule" a lot lately.

    CJ, I really loved the petticoat analogy.

    I'm going to just go with the flow from now on. If I end up with bazillion commas, then so be it!