Writing Tip: Vary the Lengths of your Sentences
Some people only use short sentences. They don’t say much in them. It makes their writing sound bland. Don’t you hate that? You get bored of reading it. They don’t seem to be able to change. Do they even know what a comma is?
Some people only use long sentences, the kind of sentences that you read and you wonder whether you’ll ever be allowed to take a breath again because the sentence just keeps going on and on and on. Their sentences are long enough to take up an entire paragraph, and although they could brake them up into smaller sentences that would make easier mouthfuls, for some reason they just keep going and going, as though the longer their sentences are the better their writing will be.
Obviously, you want to include sentences of various lengths if you want to keep your readers’ attention. Short, sharp sentences can create tension. They can keep the audience on their toes if they’re used at the right time. Long sentences can present details or lists or break up dialogue. The more that you write, the easier you will find it to recognise when you need to use a long or a short sentence.
If you find yourself using long or short sentences too often, think about where you could add or remove punctuation to vary the lengths of those sentences. A good exercise is to go back to something you have previously written and change the length of the sentences within that piece of writing. This way, you can see the effect that different sized sentences have on your words and the way that someone will read your writing.
Once you understand where to use long, medium and short sentences, you’ll find you can have a more dramatic impact on your readers when you wish.
Written By: Laura Marie Clark
About the Author
Laura is a 23 year old English woman with a history degree residing in the UK. She has been writing for many years and enjoys writing horror/fantasy stories, as well as poetry. You can view more of her work at: https://inspiredstoriesandpoems.wordpress.com/
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Categories: Writing Tips