1. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    Creating more curiosity from our sentences

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Magnatolia, May 4, 2014.

    Hi all,

    I read a really intriguing book called Wounded Sentences today. It's about the concept of ripping your sentences open and making them bleed metaphorically.

    I'd like to find a book that has more practical examples and techniques on this concept but obviously he's taken a concept and renamed it. I'm not sure what the normal term would be. The idea being that you're leading your readers deeper into their curiosity. Making them want to keep reading to get closure.

    I'm quite adept at writing in short, terse sentence style when I need to convey action but would like to know about this concept.

    Would anyone have any recommendations?

    As an example that comes to mind, the following two examples:

    1. Clair entered the house. She heard footsteps upstairs. Pete's still at work. She noticed the butcher knife was missing from the knifeblock and froze.

    2. Clair entered the house. The butcher knife was missing. She frowned. It was there when I left. She heard a noise upstairs. She stood still. Listened. There it was again. A footstep. Solid too. Pete should still be at work.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't quite understand what you are getting at because wounding a sentence doesn't bring to mind building tension and/or suspense which appears to be what you're looking for in the sentence example.

    "Clair entered the house. The butcher knife was missing. She frowned. It was there when I left. She heard a noise upstairs. She stood still. Listened. There it was again. A footstep. Solid too. Pete should still be at work."
    Clair pulled her sedan into to garage. That was odd, Pete's car wasn't there yet. He must have stopped for a beer with the guys, she couldn't remember if he'd told her or not.

    Slipping her key in the door, she turned the knob. Had it been unlocked? Or did she just not feel the key move the tumblers? Pete probably left it unlocked again. He thought it was overkill to lock the door to the house inside the locked garage. She disagreed. Perhaps she would leave the police brochure out in a conspicuous place, open to the page of recommended safety measures to prevent home burglaries. That would avoid yet another accusation of nagging, and she wasn't sure the door had really been unlocked anyway.

    She set her purse on the kitchen table and went to the sink to fill a glass of water. Catcat appeared, rubbing up against her leg. As she reached down to scratch his head her eye saw the knocked over block of knives on the counter. "Catcat, have you been up on the counter again?" she scolded. She put the block upright and replaced the knives in their slots. Obsessively, she opened the dishwasher to find the last knife. It wasn't there. She wondered which of the kids or Pete was using her best kitchen knives to cut something other than food. ... (And so on.)


    The idea is to show little things out of place, then give them normal explanations, building and releasing tension, two steps forward, one step back. It doesn't have to be tension, it can be anything that piques one's curiosity to read on.

    I can't for the life of me reconcile that with the terminology 'wounded sentences'. My apologies if I am way off base.
     

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