Posted by: Corri van de Stege | June 25, 2008

Long sentences

Another direction, another view.  I sit with my back to the beautiful view – not that this is ugly, just not water, nothing fluid, it’s concrete, it reminds me that I have to build short sentences, not long ones.  So I’ve spend a couple of hours these last few days going through my chapters and being firm.  I’m cutting long sentences, I’m not Virginia Woolf, I have not got the mastery of words and imagery that I can do it well.  

Meanwhile I’ve also read Michael Cunningham’s The Hours and I think someone commented that she enjoyed it even more than Mrs. Dalloway.  I sympathise with that: reading The Hours immediately after Mrs Dalloway is a creative writing lesson in its own right.  It is really perfect, the interweaving of the three stories of Virginia Woolf writing, Mrs Dalloway (or Clarissa Vaughan) preparing for her party for Richard who is dying of aids and decides to jump for it, and Mrs Brown.  These three women and how they spend 24 hours in different era’s, Virginia Woolf in 1923, Mrs Brown (yes, Richard’s mother as it turns out) in 1949 and Clarissa at the end of the century.  O, if only I could write like that, so easy, so multilayered, so simple and so hellishly difficult. 




  1. Just keep practicing! A 1,000 words a day, even if it is just playing around or describing the interior of your holiday apartment.

    (Yes, I have been slacking myself).

  2. The longer the sentence the better, especially in the middle of the paragraph. Then shorter ones to deliver you out.

  3. I’m waiting for my copy of The Hours to arrive from Bookmooch so I can read the pair of them together. And then I’ll probably watch the movie (again!)

    Keep enjoying that view -it must be so inspirational!

  4. arioborzine: 2,500 words in two days – the view is so inspiring – plus some revision of previous chapters… 🙂
    Daniel: I cannot help myself so I’ll try and keep to your advise, happily!
    Becca: reading them one after the other has been great – and yes, I’ll be watching the movie again as well, once I get back home.

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