Subsequent to previous post, Avus asked for written examples that suggest my writing has improved during the last 60 years..
Intermittent diary, Bingley office, Bradford and District Newspapers. Aged 18 -20.
● Journalism is a badly organised business. A good deal of the day I sit in idleness, yet am often working until 10 at night. If I tell this to a non-journalist, he or she says “Ah, but you enjoy your job.”
Do I? Doesn’t anybody else like theirs?
Faults: “business” is unnecessary. “am working” is ugly. Second sentence could be reduced by half. Ending with personal pronoun is flabby
● Calling on Mrs X for a par (ie, info for short news story) I perceived the light of triumph in her eyes. Apparently Y (the X’s bean-pole daughter) had seen me at the local cinema with M (my first ever girl-friend). Mrs X’s attitude seemed to be that she had scored a personal triumph over me. While the light was still in Mrs X’s eyes, Y came in and took up the assault. I could say nothing and had to leave the house seething with rage.
The Xs are typical Bingley Methodists and constitute a good deal of the reason why Bingley, its environs and its inhabitants, get me down. I shall always remember them by the following words of Mrs X, referring to a Methodist minister who, with an invalid wife and a speech impediment, had given his life to Methodism (I think) and had fallen ill.
Mrs X’s comment was that he (the minister) had been lying ill for some months now and while they were not getting anything out of him they were still having to pay him.
Faults. “triumph” is repeated, weakening a good anecdote.. Difficult for reader to make out what “took up the assault” means. Grates my teeth: “by the following words of”. Very windy passage: “… and constitute a good deal, etc, etc…”
● On Weds, Thurs, Friday and Sat mornings I have been to the doctor about an enormous boil on my thigh and I have been having to make up time (ie, visiting regular news sources) afterwards. I became detached about the boil and apart from the pain I watched everything that went on. The latter three mornings I received penicillin injections, one by Leslie, two by Mitchell. Leslie slides the needle into my arm gently while M. drops it in and, if it bounces, drops it again.
Faults: Clumsy list to begin with. I’m ashamed of “have been having” - suggesting I never read what I’d written. “Detached” is poorly chosen, thus “apart from the pain” becomes vague. I am, however, quite proud of the final sentence.