Crafting the perfect sentence that resonates with the reader can take hours. Days. Weeks, even. When it's got to be just right, we copywriters agonise over every single word.
There are sentences that I'm proud of, and lines I'd gladly write again if I could start over. Surely every writer has at least one of those. I was curious to find out which sentences other copywriters considered their best.
It started with a tweet. Through the copywriter community on Twitter, responses came in from many of the writers I admire most. Considering just how many sentences they've written in their careers, I'm impressed they met my tough challenge of picking just one.
Andy Maslen got in first, with a short and sweet (almost too sweet) reply:
In a letter to my now wife of 18 years: "I love you."
This precise and beautifully evocative example from Tom Albrighton did indeed take weeks (and is part of this blog post, if you're interested in how it came about):
'The reflection is silent, its cognate thoughts unknowable.'
I was secretly hoping for at least one submission with a good old fashioned pun in it, and Andrew Nattan duly delivered:
"I wanted to do a speech comprised solely of puns, but the bridesmaid me promise not to." - my wedding speech
Nick Oldham, someone who I know is no stranger to corny jokes, also weighed in with something surprisingly serious:
"The who would be death so I'll start with the where." (Anonymous diary of a whistleblower.)
Some replies came in by email (please do feel free to email me), including this gem from former Times journalist and fellow copywriter Michael Theodoulou:
“Hanadi Hindi will not be allowed to drive to the airport, but when she gets there she will be able to fly jet aircraft.” (Intro to my report in The Times on Saudi Arabia’s first woman pilot. Nov 25, 2004)
And I can't end this post without sharing my own favourite sentence with you, a diatribe on the cheap and cheerful noodle box:
"These bad boys were stacked high in Aldi, microwaveable for peak student laziness, and tasted vaguely like balsa wood and disappointment."
It's quite a varied mix, isn't it? We've all picked something a bit different. It's an interesting look into what we consider to be our 'best' work and the styles of writing we each gravitate towards. I was only ever going to pick something funny as my favourite, for example - that's more my style. The poets amongst us prize their best metaphors, and those who value plain and simple English love their most succinct sentences.
What's your favourite thing you've ever written, and why do you like it? Tweet me @koisurukady with quotes and links.