17 March 2020

First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing ... and Life, by Joe Moran #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

“Do you want to write clearer, livelier prose? This witty primer will help.” —The New York Times Book Review

An exploration of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace through the art of building sentences

The sentence is the common ground where every writer walks. A good sentence can be written (and read) by anyone if we simply give it the gift of our time, and it is as close as most of us will get to making something truly beautiful. 

Using minimal technical terms and sources ranging from the Bible and Shakespeare to George Orwell and Maggie Nelson, as well as scientific studies of what can best fire the reader's mind, author Joe Moran shows how we can all write in a way that is clear, compelling and alive.

Whether dealing with finding the ideal word, building a sentence, or constructing a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence informs by light example: much richer than a style guide, it can be read not only for instruction but for pleasure and delight. 

Along the way, it shows how good writing can help us notice the world, make ourselves known to others, and live more meaningful lives. It's an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.

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About the Author

Joe Moran is a writer, lecturer and professor of English and cultural history at Liverpool John Moores University. As well as publishing articles in obscure academic journals, he writes for the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Financial Times and other publications. Find out more at Joe's website https://joemoran.net/ and find him on Twitter @joemoransblog

Do you have suggestions for useful books for writers you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below

The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn! The rules and sign-up form are below the list of hop participants. All authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to join in.


  1. Ooooo, this sounds fabulous. I've added it to my goodreads TBR. Thanks so much, Tony. I love your reviews.

  2. Thanks for sharing this book. I could use some help in creating beautiful sentences in my memoir,my WIP.
    JQ Rose

  3. Thanks for the craft book recommendation!

  4. I do share a book when I find gold and I also share what I walked away with. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette


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