intense sensations

How to improve your style

Posted on: September 26, 2011

In Too DeepIn Too Deep by Portia Da Costa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I couldn’t decide which of Portia’s many novels to start with until someone on Goodreads nudged me in this direction.

I am so grateful for the nudge!

This book had me in its thrall from the very first sentence. The author’s imagination is delightfully erotic and she can build suspense better than Hitchcock, if you’ll pardon the reference. (Just a name that popped into my head.)

The descriptions and situations gave me intense pleasure many times over.

Intense pleasure is an end in itself but I would like to add a serious tip for anyone who, like me, seeks to improve her English.

I like to read beautiful British English whenever I can, as it rubs in… or rubs off… or something. Now, one of the best ways to learn anything is to make sure your experience with it is intense. Portia writes beautiful British English. Her sentences are among the most lucid, concise and well-judged of any I have read. So for me, this is one of the best books in the world for improving your written English and I recommend it to foreigners everywhere. Practise with it intensely every day and you will soon be writing and speaking pure, elegant, flawless sentences with interesting vocabulary that arise naturally and fully-formed from your impure and imperfect thoughts.

(For American English I recommend Gore Vidal’s books but that’s another review entirely! Gay men are so good at style.)

Vanessa Wu is the author of Love Has No Limits


2 Responses to "How to improve your style"

It’s satisfying to enjoy language when writing … being fluid is what it seems like to me. My first short story was too fast, quick … my third, that’s coming out Sept 30, has more of the fluidity that I enjoy. A non-erotic example, or sensual anyway, is Anita Shreve’s novels–esp The Pilot’s Wife.

Hello DD. What about your second story?

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Books by Vanessa Wu

Lure of the Feminine

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