A thousand belly flops of terror by Lauren Groff

Word count: 146 words

Reading time: About 30 seconds

A great way to improve your writing skills is to emulate the work of others. Here is a sentence by Lauren Groff I read recently that I’d happily imitate.    

I recently finished The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff (thanks for the suggestion, Charlie!) Not only did this novel present me with some engaging reading, it also gave me my sentence of the week! Here it is:

I went past our pool, now so thick with algae that it had become a frog pond, plunking with a thousand belly flops of terror when I passed.

Something about that sentence grabbed me the moment I read it. In part, it was the author’s use of the word “terror” — so at odds with frogs! Then there was the word “plunking” (bring on the onomatopoeia). Finally, there’s the delightful image of frogs doing belly flops — a manoeuvre I tend to associate more with rowdy 12-year olds, or big bellied beer drinkers — than with frogs. Lauren Groff has surely concocted an evocative and memorable turn of phrase here.

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