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Additional resources for A Manual of Writers Tricks, David L. Carroll

Example text

The aesthetic part of the human psyche is almost magically affected by rhythm, repetition, equilibrium, and the unity of balanced parts. Indeed, the power and persuasive impact which many political and commercial slogans produce is due to their use of parallel construction. Witness: "Had enough? " 37 A MANUAL OF WRITER'S TRICKS ". . " Parallelism allows writers to state their ideas rapidly, intensely, economically. It adds a pleasant strength and meter to prose. " Removing the imperative from the second part of the sentence, a relatively small modification in itself, robs the entire phrase of its memorable music.

Extremely upset, he is gazing at the patterns on the ceiling. 49 A MANUAL OF WRITER'S TRICKS Since he was a boy, he tells us, he has discovered that studying the cracks in the ceiling can be strangely and hypnotically comforting for him. Later on the man is visited in the hospital by a friend. The friend tells him something provocative, but the man does not reply. " he asks. ':Answer me, for God's sake. " Use action to make a significant point. The old "Don't tell me, show me" rule again. In this case, show them with dynamic imagery and motion rather than exposition.

Don't tell your readers-show them. Many beginning writers make this cardinal error: They describe their thoughts, feelings , and attitudes about a subject rather than allowing the facts , action , and evidence to speak for themselves. " You can tell me that "The ship was heavily weighted. " A picture is worth a thousand words. Persuade with examples, not opinions. The best method for making readers see things from your perspective is to present so much hard evidence and so 20 TONE many persuasive examples that they will reach your conclusions on their own.

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