12. Choose a suitable design and hold to it.

A basic structural design underlies every kind of writing. Writers will in part follow this design, in part deviate from it, according to their skills, their needs, and the unexpected events that accompany the act of composition. Writing, to be effective, must follow closely the thoughts of the writer, but not necessarily in the order in which those thoughts occur. This calls for a scheme of procedure. In some cases, the best design is no design, as with a love letter, which is simply an outpouring, or with a casual essay, which is a ramble. But in most cases, planning must be a deliberate prelude to writing. The first principle of composition, therefore, is to foresee or determine the shape of what is to come and pursue that shape.
(William Strunk & E.B. White, The Elements of Style.)


Anonymous s said...

in such a case; is it still possible to determine meaning? and not just entire sentences, parts of sentences. like what I am doing now? I'll live to regret this. what is meaning anyway? yes, and no. I wrote this comment then I cut out and reassembled the different sections. that might be the wisest thing to do. will a different meaning be created if the order is changed and think to oneself: "pretetious fart"? because one can try to figure out the original order of things, or one can leave it as it is. what if the elements all come in the wrong order? like this.

October 04, 2005 4:45 pm  

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