Tool 8 ~ Establish a pattern, then give it a twist.

Even great writers use parallelism. Perhaps they use it best. So . . .

“Build parallel constructions, but cut across the grain.”

Examples:

1. “With my stick and my knife, my chalks and my brown paper, I went out on to the great downs” (42) — a direct quote from G. K. Chesterton, used by Clark.

2. “Hither, thither and yon” (43).

3. “Peter, Paul and Mary” (43).

These tools–the chapters–are hard to comment on. The pages stand alone. They don’t need my thoughts, and Clark is already quoting people so frequently, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Philip Roth, and Diana Hacker, that it is difficult finding him among the quotations marks.

Also, they are so simplistic and natural that when I do comment on them, I am tempted to restate them exactly.

In other words, read the book. 🙂

Quick comment: Clark wrote out writing exercises at the end of each chapter, which interact directly with the tool. “Just for fun, take parallel slogans or sayings and rewrite the last element. For example, John, Paul, George, and that drummer who wears the rings” (44).

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