A style guide by stealth - how anyone can write well (and can enjoy good writing)
'Moran is a past master at producing fine, accessible non-fiction.' - Helen Davies, Sunday Times
'Joe Moran has a genius for turning the prosaic poetic' - Peter Hennessy
Advanced maths has no practical use, and is understood by few. A symphony can be widely appreciated, but created only by a genius. Good writing, however, can be written (and read) by anyone if we give it the gift of our time. And a sentence might be as near as many of us will get to orchestrating beauty.
Enter universally praised historian Professor Joe Moran. Using minimal technical terms, First You Write a Sentence. is his unpedantic explanation of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace. With examples from the Bible and Shakespeare to Orwell and Diana Athill, and with support from scientific studies of what most fires people's minds, he shows how we can all write in a way that is vivid, clear and engaging.
With chapters from tools of the trade (from typewriters to texting and the impact this has on the craft); and writing and the senses (how to make the world visible and touchable); to how to find the ideal word, build a sentence, and construct a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence. informs by light example. It's an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.
Joe Moran has a genius for turning the prosaic poetic
Thoughtful reflections on how to write well
What a lovely thing this is: a book that delights in the sheer textural joy of good sentences. Joe Moran has written a book about writing that is itself a collection of sentences to inspire, divert and console. Any aspiring writer should read it, if only to be reminded how crazily hard it is to write words 'in such a way that they can be deciphered in your absence'
Thoughtful, engaging, and lively exposé of the quirks and beauties of the full sentence . . . It's a style guide by stealth: when you've read it, you realise you've changed your attitude to writing (and reading).
Joe Moran is a wonderfully sharp writer, calm, precise and quietly comical . . . Moran's own sentences are perfect advertisements for the aims they espouse
Joe Moran is the most perceptive and original observer of British life that we have
Moran has fast become Britain's foremost explorer and explainer of the disregarded
Moran is a past master at producing fine, accessible non-fiction.
Moran is a wonderful, witty writer, and here he surpasses himself
Whether you're composing an ad for a shop or embarking on your first literary masterpiece, it is indispensable. As an inspiration to savour every encounter, to train your lazy brain to be alert to a beautifully devised phrase, a poetic alleviation, a mood-changing bon mot, it is even more rewarding