Crowded Effects, Strange Light

nature sky sunset the mountains
Photo by Nastasia on

I think you have crowded your effects too much here. If I were writing this passage I would emphasize its importance by breaking it up into several–perhaps three–sentences instead of crowding a lot of ideas into one sentence [. . .]  “Single block of one story brick and wooden shacks” sounds ugly. (Of course they are ugly.) You are crowding things here again. The important thing is that the sun casts a strange light on these structures. If you try to crowd information you want the reader to have–that the town consisted of a single block–into this sentence you run the risk of minimizing the importance of your strange light. You cannot handle but one idea in a sentence. That idea ought to be presented in the joining of the subject and the predicate. Anything else in that sentence ought to be subordinated–in the form of subordinate clauses.

–Caroline Gordon to Flannery O’Connor, 26 January 1958, The Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Gordon

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