Cave Men, Sharks, and the Doors of Perception



Three common errors that are easy to spot and easy to fix, which makes for a radical improvement in your prose.

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txv1985's picture
txv1985 from Vietnam is reading Men Without Women April 6, 2020 - 2:57am

This's really interesting. Would love to know more about this content. Thank you for sharing. tổ yến yến sào yến sào khánh hòa cách chưng tổ yến giá tổ yến


sahaha's picture
sahaha November 26, 2019 - 7:05am

The content of your article is very good, thank you for sharing this content, thue wifi di han

Michael Wais Jr's picture
Michael Wais Jr from San Diego, CA is reading "The Iliad" June 27, 2014 - 8:32pm

One of my favorite examples of effective and emotive narrative that's related to a constructive "Shark Music" example:

"Sometimes I try to do things and it just doesn't work out the way I wanted to. ..."

( ^ "All I wanted was a Pepsi!! And she wouldn't give it to me!!!" lolol!!)

Adam Birch's picture
Adam Birch from all over, currently North SF Bay Area is reading Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon February 25, 2014 - 9:25pm

Great stuff. The beginning was very useful. My grasp on prose is strong but it's all intuition. I know what looks right or wrong, and feels right or wrong because I've been reading literature for as long as I can remember. I enjoy articles that articulate with specific terminology, the concepts I understand intuitively (intransitive vs. transitive verbs in this case).


In college friends would ask me to proof read their papers because I rarely, if ever, got marked down for grammar. I'd tell them "I can fix your writing, but I can't explain anything to you." For the most part I'm still the same way. Terminology just doesn't stick in my head. I read The Elements of Style four times per year, but couldn't explain to you the difference between a dependant or independant clause. It's the damnedest thing.

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons October 7, 2012 - 9:06pm

Reading all the essays now. Thank you.

Soap52395's picture
Soap52395 from the great state of Texas is reading Science Set Free:10 Paths to New Discovery February 28, 2012 - 12:46pm

(Thank you knowledge.)

Ben666's picture
Ben666 from Montreal, Canada is reading Scar Tissue, by Marcus Sakey February 21, 2012 - 1:12pm

I'm a fan of your teachings, sir. You prove that the heart of good writing lies in grammar and detail-oriented work. Your essays reconcile me with the concept of writing advice.

Bruno Hat's picture
Bruno Hat from Glasgow, Scotland is reading writing and arithmetic October 21, 2011 - 2:33pm

Bruno like essay

miraculousmeaningless's picture
miraculousmeani... from Washburn, WI is reading your mind October 21, 2011 - 6:03am

I'm with wickedvoodoo on this stuff being easy to overlook, and it's also easy to forget. Thanks again, Craig, for bringing an entertaining and memorable face to some important fundamental stuff! 


Repo Kempt's picture
Repo Kempt from Nova Scotia October 19, 2011 - 11:54am

Great tips!

Kasey's picture
Kasey from the morally and physically challenging plains of Texas is reading 12pt. Courier font October 15, 2011 - 10:40pm


.'s picture
. October 14, 2011 - 3:26pm

Thank your for another great essay!

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 14, 2011 - 3:06pm

wow - thanks Craig - great breakdown. very helpful. I particular appreciate you putting into context (ie for the rewrite).

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. October 14, 2011 - 12:20pm

Superb. Mr Clevenger has a knack of posing these lessons in the exact way I need to hear them. It's so easy to overlook this kind of stuff.