New three-part class offered at The Skills: Sentence-Level Music

September 1, 2022 § 2 Comments

Next up, new writing craft series at The Skills. I’m pretty excited about this: The Skills is an on-line coaching/learning platform somewhat similar to MasterClass; they started out mostly in sports and have some pretty well-known instructors involved, including Michael Phelps, Maria Sharapova, and Shaun White. The classes or “group lessons” are on-line and open to the public, wherever you happen to be on the planet; you can either attend live or watch a recording on your own time. My first offering is a three-part series called “Sentence Level Music,” on September 17, 24, and Oct 1. The classes can be taken consecutively or stand-alone—or, if you’d rather, you can buy the whole package any time and watch all three recorded sessions by clicking here:

This is a great investment for working writers looking to take your prose up to the next level, anyone wanting to jumpstart or return to a practice of creative writing, and really anyone interested in refining your skills in high-impact writing.

For anyone interested, here are more detailed descriptions for each group lesson:

Sentence-Level Music I: The Core Qualities of Great Sentences (September 17, 10am PST)

Most writers produce good sentences, but few produce consistently great ones. Members of this club tend to be authors of some notoriety; the purpose of this three-part virtual lesson is to nudge ourselves a bit closer to that level. In Part I we’ll break down a selection of great sentences in an attempt to discover what makes them effective. We’ll look at such topics as the importance of economy, specificity, and musicality, the uses of parallelism, and repetition for rhythmic emphasis. Brief writing exercises will help integrate our observations in the interest of endowing our own sentences with greater clarity, vividness, substance, and impact.

Sentence-Level Music II: Sentence-Level Suspense & Cumulative Syntax (September 24, 10am PST):

In Part II of this three-part virtual lesson intended to increase your skill in sentence-level prose, we’ll begin with the surprisingly useful concept of the proposition as the basic building block of sentences. From there we’ll turn to building our skills in establishing sentence-level suspense, serial constructions, and the broadly underestimated power of cumulative syntax to capture the distilled meaning that is an essential characteristic of gripping prose. Brief writing exercises will help integrate our observations in the interest of harnessing the capabilities of the sentence to enrich and expand the range and musicality of our own writing.

Sentence-Level Music III: Making Sentences that Sing (October 1, 10AM PST)

Language is the paint; sentences are the brush strokes. The best painters are the ones who’ve become so good with the brush that they paint without thinking and in a style that can be none but their own. In the third installment of this three-part virtual lesson we’ll go beyond core principles to explore the sublime potentialities of the sentence. We’ll look at the ways in which great sentences can “sing the meaning of themselves,” and explore methods for varying sentence length to create mesmerizing rhythms and evoke specific emotions. A final writing exercise will help to integrate what we’ve learned across all three lessons, demonstrating a new facility with the art and music of sentence-writing.

Read more and/or sign up for a session here. Buy the whole package any time and watch all three recorded sessions by clicking here. And check out the other topics offered at The Skills; I’m thinking of taking a tennis lesson myself. I definitely need one!

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