This sentence has five words. Varying sentence length and why it matters. | SparkaTale

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This sentence has five words. Varying sentence length and why it matters.

Posted by Administrator on June 9, 2015 | 674 Views

    So I came across this quote the other day and thought it was interesting.


    “This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.” 


     This is quoted by Gary Provost in Roy Peter Clark’s Writing Tools. It serves to demonstrate what happens when a writer experiments with varying sentence lengths. Very good and worth remembering.
 

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