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Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 32 Use Sentence Fragments To Punctuate Your Writing

This is not your English teacher's novel
by Valerie Ipson

Think for a minute what your manuscript would look and sound like if you followed all the rules you were taught in 8th grade English. 

(I hope you're shuddering just a little bit.)

If you're strict with the rules, you'll be writing without the benefit of the fast-paced, efficient fragment. I know. I know. Your teacher marked all over your papers in red ink because of sentences that were missing subjects and verbs. Well, it's revenge time. 

In our fast-paced world, people are moving more and more to short, quick forms of communication. And that's what fragments do for a novel. Set the pace. Move thought quickly. And efficiently.

"In the hands of a skilled writer (like you), fragments can underscore a point or advance a plot with remarkable precision and brevity...Their clipped, staccato cadence varies the rhythm from the flow of complete sentences. They add contrast and energy. They create pauses, and as you know, pauses create emphasis." 1

And truth be told, don't we often live life in fragments?
Yes. Yes we do.

1 MTC, P 175

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