Friday, January 11, 2013


Today, let's take a quick look at sentences.

Ok, not exactly like that (though if cutting out pieces of paper and writing words on them helps you out, then go for it!).

A sentence can have power.  A sentence, which is a combination of words that can be found in the dictionary that can also be found in a bookshelf, maybe in a library, may hold some power as long as the writer is able to think about stuff.  Look again at those two sentences.  One is short and to the point, the other is long and convoluted.  See the difference?  Now, let's look at a good long sentence and a good short sentence.

The dog picked up something.  The dog, black hair bristling, snatched a decaying bone and growled; it took a step forward, its giant paw swallowed by the mud.  Now before we go picking these apart, take notice I wrote these two sentences in a minute (ok yes, I do not put that much time into the blog...yet).  But, can you see the difference?  The first one is vague and doesn't convey any message or feeling.  Look at the second.  You can see the dog, can feel a certain level of fear.

So what's the trick?  Read, read, and read.  Soon, you will be able to pick out good sentences.  Next, maybe even more importantly, write!  Practice makes perfect (cliche, but oh so true).  When you are looking at your sentences, make sure to ask yourself if it is clear, if it ends and begins strongly (prepositions are sometimes fine, but don't end every sentence in them), and try to vary your sentence lengths.

That's it you say?  Ha!  No.  I could go on about sentences and get into the nitty gritty, but let's leave that for a part 2.

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