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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

V is for Vary the Sentence.



This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important. 

10 comments:

Christine Murray said...

I agree, sometimes the rhythm of the sentence is just as important as the words you use.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I tend to use longer sentences (not REAL long ones) so I'm learning to create short ones now and then for variety.

Jessica Hill said...

Love that! I completely agree, varying your sentences is so important in order to get the rhythm and flow going.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Awesome! Sentences are like music - we need to find a natural rhythm and variances help us do that.

Misha said...

Hehehe I love this post. It's so true that varying sentence lengths and rhythms can make a huge difference to writing.

:-D

Amparo Ortiz said...

LOVED this when I first read it, and I love it way more now. It's always helpful to see what bad prose looks like in a funny way :)

Christina Lee said...

YES---great advice!!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

You're so clever! I love the way you presented this post -- it's a working example of the importance in varying your sentence lengths. Brilliant, Lindsay!

Renae said...

Great advice! As usual!!!

Julie Musil said...

A brilliant way to illustrate an important point!