It was like… like sitting on an airplane and waiting for it to take off… “Christ,” you think, “when is this thing going up in the air…” and then you sit there for longer and longer and then you wonder if it’s even worth it. What if your flight is canceled? What if the plane goes down mid-flight? And then you start getting antsy, you start demanding answers. “When is this plane going up?” you ask the flight attendant and she shrugs. “I have places to be. I have plans. I can’t wait forever.” But nobody can tell you because they don’t know. And then… and then the plane lurches, and the wheels begin to turn, and you look towards the window. “Oh, God. This thing is going too fast,” and it wasn’t moving just five minutes ago, but now it’s barreling through, so fast it could take you to another world. And you get scared again, but then you feel the adrenaline…and as strongly as you want to get off you want to keep going, and that scares you, too. And before you know it you’re taking off. Just that fast. And out your window you see the cars getting smaller and see entire cities sprawled out, in one tiny window. All at once, it makes sense to you; all at once, none of it matters, it feels so far away, so totally unimportant. Because there you were. And I knew—I knew it wasn’t going to be easy…that there would be turbulence, that in those moments we would be stricken by our own irrationality…but I could not shake the desire and the certainty that you were taking me to the place I’d always wanted to go. You were taking me home.
This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.