Book review: How to be an open-hearted master crafter of effective sentences

Book Review: First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing … and Life by Joe Moran

Sentencemoran

It’s almost too obvious to mention, the sentence is the basic building block of all writing. If you want to write well, you need to be a master of sentences.

This is a book for writers. It delves deep into the construction of powerful, readable sentences.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy solution to your fundraising challenge, this isn’t your book.

But if you really want to touch hearts and minds with your writing, and you’re willing to put some work into that task, you should read it.

It’s both technical and about the heart of writing. Let me give you examples:

Technical:

How do you breathe life into sentences choked with nouns? Simple: use verbs. Disinter the buried verbs and bring them back to life by reverbing them. Unspool the noun strings, restoring the proper links between nouns by adding verbs and prepositions….

Heart:

Taking up too much of your readers life, by having him read sentences barnacled with needless words, is an ungenerous act.

Writing is weird work. Fundraising writing is weirder yet. It’s almost overwhelmingly technical, yet if it fails to connect one human heart with another, it is worthless.

Making your writing easy to read is hard work, while the you dash out quickly is a labor for your readers — an ungenerous act that, by the way, will likely raise less money for your cause.

Be a better writer. Read this book.

Available at Amazon.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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