Let’s never underestimate the power of simple declarative sentences.
Don’t stumble around trying to be fancy.
And I like Erickson’s way of describing the act of writing here, “just a matter of capturing the details in simple declarative sentences.”
I gave someone this advice over lunch today in fact:
If you ever get lost in the details of an argument or request or idea, make yourself sit down and express all of it in 2 – 5 clearly states sentences.
It can bring lucidity to a muddled mess.
Both the Hank story and the fire story had strong content and were written without any literary ambition of creating a “style.” I wrote them quickly and without much effort. The effort came before the writing—living the events and knowing the characters. The writing itself was just a matter of capturing the details in simple declarative sentences.