Jane Austen spent many a night reading Shakespeare out loud with her family. She developed her writer's ear by these mini dramas. No wonder she had an instinct for concise, striking language. No wonder her prose, at times, borders on poetry.
that "sounds" good "reads" good. Not vice versa. So, if we want our writing to read good, we need to first of all make sure it sounds good. Again, not vice versa -- though, maybe, versa vice. We can start by listening to our own writing: reading it aloud to ourselves, or a learned enemy. We might also get more into the habit of reading out loud (ala Jane Austen) so we can saturate our ears with sounds. Here's what we'll learn. Some sentences just sound good. They just do. They sound right. They have the right ring, and rhythm. Some don't. They grate our ears. They are hard to follow, and hard to hear. Sometimes, just by changing the order of words, you'll find you can turn a lecture into a jazz concert -- but you gotta have rhythm: rhythm with words. The path to good writing starts with our ears, not our eyes; and so, the way to your reader's heart is through her ears.