Workshop Wednesday: The Importance Of Sentence Variety

It’s Wednesday folks and that means writing and spilling our creative spleens onto the page in all ways weird and awkward! So put your writing hats on.

Today I’m going to address something that I have to admit that I haven’t given enough credit.

Sentence variety.

I’m sure you’ve heard writing books say things like: Long sentences slow down pace, short sentences speed it up. But have you ever wondered what happens when scenes are improperly paced?

The answer to this has a name: Dragon Trials by Ava Richardson.

Now, this is not going to be a review of the book, but if it were, you can probably guess my feelings on the matter from this post.

Reading through it was kind of an odd experience because as I would get to the scenes where “action” was happening, it often didn’t feel like I was reading any action. I kept thinking that it was just another calm scene.

Now let me make one thing clear, I’m a reader who shamelessly reads with my innards on my sleeves, ready to bleed sad feels and salt all over the place. And likewise, I pick up emotional and mood changes like a bloodhound. So when there is a lack of intensity where there should be some, I feel like I’ve just lost my trail without warning.

So throughout the story, I had to keep going back to see where the action scenes had started because they were written the same way as the mundane scenes.

And with little to no sentence variation in those scenes on top of it, it was a recipe for me being one hella confused reader.

And that, my friends, is not a mistake that you want to make.

At all.

Long sentences don’t just slow pace, they build tension, take the reader gently by the hand, guide them along on a musical journey of commas, semicolons, and hidden rhythms.

Short sentences stop. Chop. The breath. The mind. They jack up our pulse. Make us worry. And think. On. Every. Word.

Use them wisely.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s