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Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft Lecture

Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft

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Publisher's Summary

Why do some lengthy sentences flow effortlessly while others stumble along? Why are you captivated by the writing of particular authors? How can you craft sentences that reflect your unique outlook on the world?

This lively, 24-lecture course introduces you to the myriad ways in which we think about, talk about, and write sentences. Reviving the sentence-oriented approach to studying writing, Professor Landon provides a greater context for what makes sentences great - and how you can apply these methods to your own writing.

You'll look at the kernels from which sentences grow - minimal base clauses - and how adding words or phrases creates larger, cumulative sentences that lead toward great writing. You'll explore sentence constructions that make writing more complex and add exciting levels of suspense, and see tactics that create balance and rhythm.Recognizing and appreciating these and other eye-opening aspects of sentences helps you understand the work that goes into creating an effective, pleasurable sentence, which can make you more aware of why particular lines, passages, or phrases in the poems, novels, or articles you read so enchant you.

Professor Landon draws abundantly on examples from the work of brilliant writers, including Don DeLillo, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Johnson, and more. With its passionate approach to writing and reading and its indulgence in the sheer joy of language, this journey gives you unique insights into the nature of great writing-and also teaches you how you can achieve some of this greatness yourself.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Tracey 12-12-13
    Tracey 12-12-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "Easy to listen to."
    Would you listen to Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft again? Why?

    The professor obviously enjoys what he teaches and that comes through in his narration, making listening to these lectures enjoyable and easy to learn from.


    What does Professor Brooks Landon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His enthusiasm


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-09-16 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "Game Changing Course"

    Of the many books I've read or listened to, this one had the most profound impact on my writing skills, my sense that I know what I'm doing, my control of the craft, my ability to evoke emotion in the reader. Thank you, Dr. Landon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie K. Burgess 09-09-16 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy reading literary thought provoking novels, magical realism, and science fiction. I completed my MFA in 2012 and enjoy writing.

    ratings
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    "The best Great Courses book I could have purchased"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft to be better than the print version?

    I say equal. The reasons do not pertain to one being better than the other. The reasons pertain to what each type offers that the other cannot. The experience of seeing the word versus hearing the word can have two separate types of fulfillment.


    What about Professor Brooks Landon’s performance did you like?

    Excellent


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    That the concept of sentences needing to be short and blunt is not what a reader wants is not true. The question as to "why and how" writing has come to this, is answered and there really is no sound basis for it. The reader looses more than gains when a story is written with short, brief, choppy, sentences throughout the story. That we as readers and writers have lost the elegance and beauty of sentences by doing this. Building out a sentence offers so much more in the way of helping the reader to experience the story, character, and scene fully.


    Any additional comments?

    So worth the purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross Ferg 08-31-16
    Ross Ferg 08-31-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Brooks is awesome"

    this dude is a little boring no doubt, but he will bring out your best writing, he will take you to the next level, and your writing with fly, and higher if you have cannabis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Snider Maryland, USA 08-21-16
    J. Snider Maryland, USA 08-21-16 Member Since 2016
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    "fine lectures except for overpromising"

    note that I only listened to first 8 chapters. fine lectures, but this is not about building great sentences but about building a very particular type of great sentence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David P Glanville Phoenix, USA 08-14-16
    David P Glanville Phoenix, USA 08-14-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Immensely Useful to Writers of all Kinds"

    This series is not just for fiction writers, but is helpful for writers of all genres. while listening to these lectures, I started thinking with the cumulative sentence structure taught here. As a high school English teacher, I found it very helpful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pirate Girl 06-24-16
    Pirate Girl 06-24-16
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    4
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    Story
    "Speech Impediment"

    The man does not know how to pronounce
    Sen-TEN-Ces. I wonder if he still says besgetti!
    I was going to play this to my students, but cannot because the man repeatedly says senances......
    It is so annoying I can't even get any information from the text because my mind keeps rooting for him to say sentences correctly, just one time. Ughhhh
    PHD's apparently mean nothing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Memphis, TN, US 06-20-16
    Amazon Customer Memphis, TN, US 06-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great"

    Writing talent is often thought of as something you have or you don't, a magical mystery bestowed on a few fortunate individual who go on to write great books and can called themselves WRITERS.

    This book calls bull on that notion and teaches, yes teaches you how to be a better builder of sentences.

    I don't think any other book I've ever read teaches writing-- and I graduated college with a degree in writing. Most other books just give vague advice like 'write concise sentences' or 'avoid adverbs' or 'write every day' or 'get feedback from other writers.'

    This is fine, but it doesn't improve you writing consistently. It's hit or miss because you can't see the underlying principles.

    This book explains how to write a better sentence, building it the way a mason builds a house, brick by brick, step by step. It's exactly what is says on the tin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sr 06-17-16
    sr 06-17-16
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    "Incredibly longwinded and boring texts."

    Although the subject really interests me, I found this book really slow and poorly crafted exactly in the things the author should be skilled in: crafting great sentences and writing. The narration also isn't great. After listening for 4 hours I had not learned a thing about crafting better sentences I could use to improve my writing. I heard a lot of the authors opinions but no best practices or evidence. Not my cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Eierud 06-04-16
    Erik Eierud 06-04-16 Member Since 2015
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    "If you want to write right!"

    It was fun and easy to follow Dr. Landon's lectures. He focuses the spotlight at the important points, making your next document much more expressive, precise, with ease you could not imagine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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