From Bad to Worse

by Cork Milner, Creative Nonfiction Workshop Leader. Don’t be misled by the work of great authors. You don’t have to be a fine literary author to be a selling writer. You see, literary writers labor for immortality; selling writers don’t have the time.  Here’s a few lines of scrambled syntax in a novel by mega-seller Nora Roberts:  “Her breath came in pants.”

Also in the same best-selling bodice ripper is this slice of purple prose: “His mouth all but savaged hers ripping down her gut with one jagged and panicked thrill.”

John Grishom is not impervious to fractured syntax. In his novel, The Testament he writes: “Breakfast was a quick roll with butter on the deck.”

Then there is this: “Suddenly the door opened slowly.”

And this: “Ed panicked and turned when he heard a low, menacing voice coming from his rear.”

A Tennessee newspaper carried this hot news item: “Relatives of 87-year old Clara Bell Web said today she continued to operate the tiny downtown grocery store where she was killed Saturday, more or less to have something to do.”