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Monday, July 6, 2015


Give your writing some OOMPH!
by Valerie Ipson


We probably take periods for granted, but they are important. They create pauses. Use them wisely to end your sentence with some OOMPH!

Let's zoom straight to Stephen Wilber's analogy on flying an airplane: "As you take off, you should be concentrating on getting off the ground. Once aloft, you should be thinking about where to land." (MTC, p 147)

He's talking about sentence construction and the need to trim wordiness "so that the emphasis falls where it does the most good." Just like with airplanes, it matters where a sentence lands. In most cases it should end with the most important word or thought to place the focus right where you want it to be.

Chapter 27 gives some great examples of how to trim sentence endings, you should totally check it out. Here's an obvious one for effect: "So, don't let your sentences ramble on and on past the point where they really should stop, if you catch my drift." (MTC, p 147) Can you reduce this sentence to 6 words?

Sodon't let your sentences, and blog posts, ramble. That means my work here is done!

But first a hint: When your editor says trim a thousand bajillion words from your manuscript, sentence endings are a great place to look.

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