Three short passages:
Most of the sentences you make will need to be killed.I could do without the line breaks: they’re not needed, and in a book about writing prose, they seem a wrong choice. (Klinkenborg’s New York Times columns about writing are evidence that paragraphs suffice.) If there are to be line breaks, run-over lines should have indents, no?
The rest will need to be fixed.
This will be true for a long time.
Writing requires a high degree of inner alertness.
Especially when things are going wrong.
Finding flaws is how you learn to make better sentences.
You can’t prevent yourself from repeating a mistake you haven’t noticed.
You’ll have to read your work many, many times to find all the problems embedded in it.
Even experienced writers have to do this.
Some flaws do a wonderful job of hiding.
Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012).
Design aside, Several Short Sentences About Writing is one of the wisest and most humane books about writing I’ve read.