My father bought me Mark Forsyth’s valuable little book of thirty-nine rhetorical devices. I am sure that it has helped me with my writing style, even though I have not deliberately employed any of them.
It starts with a very familiar example: alliteration.
I adore alliteration, but it is possible to overdo it, and there is even a term for that appalling affliction.
The cleverest aspect of this book, in my humble opinion, is that each chapter flows naturally into the next. A chapter will typically conclude with a possible example of the rhetorical device which has been discussed in that chapter, but is actually an example of the tool which will be discussed in the next.
I am pleased that there will be no test of the terminology used in this book, because I could not possibly remember them all. Nor could I remember what the names mean without reference to the book.
There were times when I felt a bit overwhelmed. Perhaps the content is too intellectually challenging for me. Or maybe I was suffering from information overload at the time.
The Elements of Eloquence is a book that I shall keep close at hand, and I’ll be referring to it whenever I am stuck for writing inspiration.