This is my second review of this book. I have to say – it won me over, big time. This time I read a physical copy, and it was worth it. The spacing and formatting of the print gives the book a mysterious aura. You feel you’re conferring secretly with the author about a strange magic that hides in prose. He reveals what he’s learned about teasing this elusive substance into the right configurations. In the same words he explains to you and shows you. Some books about writing are sterile and tedious, but this book is on the other end of the spectrum.

Some of its advice has lodged into my writing brain:

Keep the space between sentences as empty as possible… Most sentences need no preamble - nor postlude.

Avoid writing your sentence. Play with it in your head. The range of possible sentence structures narrows after every word you put down.

Don’t be afraid that you’ll forget a good sentence or a good idea. Trust yourself. If it is important, you’ll remember it.

Lots of worthwhile ideas, many of which aim to loosen rigid rules and challenge habits taught in school. Are transition words and sentences really necessary? Do you trust your reader so little? You can get anywhere from anywhere. It also challenges conventional wisdom regarding “inspiration”, “natural” writing, and “flowing” writing. It gives interesting writing exercises like putting sentences each on their own line to compare structure, length, and rhythm.

I realized on second read that the author asserts in the introduction that this book is not dogma, but a collection of starting points. Also, my prayers were answered: the book contains a healthy share of sample prose.

Very glad I came across this book.