Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Writing Tip #2 - Vary Your Sentence Length

Varied sentence length is an important feature of good writing. Some sentences should be long, informative, and flowing; others, short and punchy. Passages in which all of the sentences are about the same length can appear boring. 

If you’ve ever sat in front of a piece of writing and wondered why it seems so boring, chances are if everything else seems right it's because all the sentences are the same length. Sentence length needs to ebb and flow like the tide. 

Clusters of sentences of the same length can make your writing tepid. Try counting the words in each sentence to see how they vary. If you spot a group of sentences of about the same length, try and vary them.Long sentences are often hard to understand and you should try and shorten them for clarity.

It's surprisingly difficult to accurately split sentences up. Abbreviations, such as etc. can cause confusion and cause difficulty. Also text that is written in dialogue can be difficult to split into sentences.

Always read what you have written to make sure it flows and makes sense. Avoid repeated words and redundancy as well. You readers will thank you for it. 

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