Study Guide

Hard Love Writing Style

By Ellen Wittlinger

Writing Style

Elaborate and Precise

John tells us exactly what he's thinking, which often means spilling out his thoughts to us in one long sentence or paragraph. Check out what he says here, after his fight with his dad:

Dad usually slept late on Saturday mornings, but just in case he decided to get up to deliver a comeback to my Bertucci's outburst, I figured I ought to disappear as early as possible. Since I had several hours to kill before I had to meet Marisol, I took along the second issue of Escape Velocity, which I'd already read several times, and the copy of No Regrets I'd picked up last Saturday and skimmed while waiting at Tower Records. (4.1)

He could just say "I wanted to avoid my dad so I left the apartment," but instead he gives us specifics about what he's doing and why. We might call this elaborate. He always gives us more information than we actually need—it's not just that he's avoiding his dad, it's that he wants to disappear and escape from his life—but at the same time, the information is always specific. And his lengthy sentences are never confusing, which is good news for him on account of how he likes to write and all. And hey, we always know what's going on.

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