Crafting Effective Sentences

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Adriana, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Introduction:

    Sentences are crafted and orchestrated, not just written. They're like a painter's brushstrokes or palette-knife texturing of the pigment. Sentences govern the rhythm of a piece, and it is as important to prose as it is to poetry. There are different ways of illustrating the flow of the sentences and it is a part of a writer's signature.

    Some writers' sentences, like those of Tom Wolfe are almost manic in their vitality as shown in a passage below:

    Study the way your favorite writers shape individual sentences as well as orchestrate sentence flow within a paragraph. Pay attention to the rhythmic pattern their sentences generate: how two short sentences may follow a much longer sentence; how transitions like however and on the other hand and in the meantime add to the coherence, the flow.


    Your manner of sentence construction inevitably affects the reality of the world you're building out of language. Take a "root" sentence like "Joe tackled the thief," your basic subject-verb-object construction, and experiment with variations. Add subject 'modifiers ("Old Joe, feeling a surge of strength and daring that belied his sixty-two years, tackled the thief") or verbal modifiers ("Joe tackled the thief, twisting his neck in a headlock and then jerking backwards hard enough to produce a distinctly audible CRACK from his lower vertebrae").

    Next, add two or three more sentences to complete the scene, paying attention to sentence variety and length. Aim for a richly rhythmical texture that enhances the readability of the paragraph.

  2. Re: Writing Exercise: Crafting Effective Sentences

    The hoplites exited the battlefield victorious.

    Men of various cities with wounds very much alike, the hoplites adorned the tragic sunset with their intese focus whilst maneuvering in a loose formation through graves of friends and enemies, all conformable to the customs of burial.

    It was a total defeat disquised as a victory, since the father of this battle, general and pylon of the alliance laid dead in his grave besides a grown olive tree enjoying a most beautiful and honorable death.

    Just before madness, the wind intruments begun playing a song of comfort that stood out as a beacon of logic and humanity, swaying chords within the men hidden indefinetely long, almost to the point of extinction.