Timed/Stylistic Writing: A Tutorial. Version 0.2
There are two parts (not wholly unrelated to one another) to succeeding in timed writing: good logic/flow and good style. Depending on how much time you have to learn and your own style of self-education, you can go about learning these two elements in a variety of ways.
First of all, about style: a certain level of good style is implicit within truly clear writing. If you are using the right words to say what you mean, and the reader is guided along in a journey of understanding as he or she peruses your paper; it comes across as stylistically effective. It does not have to be high-minded and metaphorical, though doing so well can often make a good work even more beautiful.
As to developing style: carefully reading lots of stylistically intense books is an excellent place to start. As painful as they are to endure and to prepare for, challenging reading quizzes really help if you want to quickly gain powerful writing style. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet letter, John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath , F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby – all of these books will boost your ability to employ advanced, effective vocabulary and powerful grammatical structures. Look up words as you go along — sit next to InstaDefine.com17 (instant dictionary). Or keep a list and use EasyDefine.com18 and look them all up retrospectively. However it is very important to read them in context so you can extrapolate their connotations and other usage details. Make your own vocabulary sentences — have fun with them and attempt to string together lots of complex vocabulary terms in the same sentence, using all correctly in terms of both connotation and denotation. Do this with SAT word lists, again use EasyDefine.com19. Realize the subtle differences in effect that careful diction induces; this takes a certain meticulous artistry. It is just like in computer science when you are attempting to make your program optimal not just in performance but in form — using the best available library functions to achieve every effect, reinventing the wheel as infrequently as possible. Elegance requires fluency which requires research which in turn takes time, but nonetheless this process is natural, not painful. Spend focused minutes finding the right word and right phrasing for every situation (InstaDefine.com, thesaurus.com), constantly bringing yourself to another level. When it’s impossible to continue, go to sleep, look back at it with fresh eyes, read some more books, and realize how you could have made your work better — this willl happen time and time again. It is only very rare that even the most experienced writers have the perfect phrasing the first few times around. And remember, the right word, like the right programming method will float naturally, perfectly in meaning along with the rest of the passage and will optimally carry your paper towards achieving its rhetorical purpose. Artistic fluff that is not appropriate to the audience or distracting to the meaning of the piece is like the silly convolutions in Rococo art: ick. Especially with AP timed writings: keep your goal in mind even as you seek to be half poet as well as half rhetor; as Ferlinghetti tells us, with each word you must “perforce perceive taut truth” even as you seek to catch the “fair eternal form of Beauty” falling through the “empty air of existence.”
Finally, once you have developed this stylistic fluency, it is necessary to learn to enter the “intense writing trance.” Intense does not necessarily mean serious; it means throwing yourself into a labyrinth of meaning and picking your way euphoric step by euphoric step outward towards enlightenment. Your feet move of their own accord like the grand ideas that spontaneously coalesce into emergent meaning as you venture deeper, float higher. I wrote many of my most serious and metaphorically involved works this way, I also wrote one of my most humorous college essays this way. They either come to me after hours or days or weeks of beating at the wrong topic, moving nowhere, or spontaneously as a result of a transcendent or otherwise moving experience I undergo. Suddenly, the idea hits and the first few lines are rough but then the neural clusters begin to fire in time like the muscles of a warmed-up runner and you are off sprinting towards a finish line you cannot yet see. It is then that you know why you write, and conclusions and expansions come without effort:
“Like needlepoint, the meticulous art, I am pulled through and through, looping back upon myself in an embroidery of endless thread; I spin outward in expanding patterns, amplified as my parts reflect from one another. I write to answer the soft hiss and clack of spinning wool, to keep the wheel rolling, to keep the skein and smooth. I write because I am the cloth woven of its own unravelings, circling through the loom to create a changing whole.” ~Ben LaBreche, “Why I Write”
A few techniques that I have found particularly useful include:
-alliteration: excellent for both humor (e.g. “Don’t wallow in wistfulness; instead, seek out and seize opportunities”; or, even better, strung together: “Prone to pun without provocation •Wont to wax poetic without warning”) and for punctuating powerful points (e.g. “perforce perceive taut truth” again)
Good vocabulary is an excellent place to start.
Read (pieces of) Sound and Sense

Tip in developing writing style: memorize well-written speeches – they will shape both your phrasing and your. I personally recommend Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena Speech, the introduction and conclusion of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby