Word Rotisserie

Do you ever find yourself repeating and reshaping words or phrases in your mind? I do. Quite a lot actually. I like the way certain phrases feel chewy in my mouth, like I need to tenderize them with my teeth.

David Weinstock suggests there are two ways to turn a sentence. First, so that the last word “‘pays off.'” This suggestion echoes the argument in poetry that the last word of a line is the most important. Landing your sentence’s last word is visceral, and it carries power.

Second, turn the sentence so that you finish it (reader or writer) knowing exactly where the next sentence must go. This suggestion delivers a powerful forward drive.


Set a timer for 8 minutes. Write ten sentences on the first topic that comes to you. Each day for the next week, read these sentences and turn them over in your mind. Rewrite them, and start from the new version each day. Read them until they are stuck in your head and play with them until they are in an order that propels the reader forward and delivers the punchline at each period.