1. Zetta
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    Zetta Member

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    Fragments

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Zetta, Oct 31, 2007.

    Do you employ fragments in your writing? Is it feasible to do so? I think they work alright in first-person works, so even though it's grammatically wrong, would there be any reason not to use a few fragments here and there in my work, as long as I don't overuse them?
     
  2. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    I use fragments all the time. I also use run-on sentences, simple sentences, complex ones, an everything else you can think of.

    For me, grammar has always been stylistic, and style must always be taken into account when reading a piece. There are people on here who disagree, and are in favor of following rather strict grammar rules, but that just goes to show you, you're going to get a multitude of different responses and opinions.

    That said, I don't believe in using fragments for the sake of using fragments; any grammatical convention must be applied only when it fits with what you're writing. If you're using fragments because you don't know how to complete a sentence, then you have an issue. However, if it fits in with the voice of the character (in dialogue or first-person, as you said), then that's fine, and also in exposition sometimes, depending on how you're writing.

    Again, I believe that, like anything, sentence structure is a subjective subject, and up to the author's discretion. The only rule I really use is this: if it sounds nice when you read it out loud, use it. If it doesn't, then change it, and adjust however you need until you have the flow you're looking for.

    Cheers.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sentence fragments are not always bad, but should be used sparingly and deliberately. Fragments tend to sound choppier, more abrupt than complete sentences, So they draw attention to themselves. Just like this.

    The main idea is to know when your sentence is fragmented, and to be aware of its effect on the narrative flow. If someone points out that a sentence or clause is incomplete, you should never be surprised.

    As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. Variety is also the spice of writing. Just be sure that when you are finished, what you serve is digestible.
     
  4. dushechka
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    dushechka Contributing Member

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    I love fragments, which is why I use them a lot. A lot.

    I'm sure it annoys most people, but I don't write for other people, I write for myself. Although, it is best to have a balance between the two.

    I can't think of any wrong reasons to use fragments, other than the fact that they're fragments.. if that makes sense. Lol.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Well, if you are writing totally for yourself, it doesn't matter whether you write in full sentences, sentence fragments, or pictograms on a cave wall :

    Rules and guidelines only apply when you are writing to communicate with others. The rules are there for clarity and for aesthetics. The larger and more varied your audience, the more important it is to understand the rules and guidelines, even if to decide when you can get away with breaking them, and how it affects the communication to the reader.
     
  6. dushechka
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    dushechka Contributing Member

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    Definitely. Which is why I added the balance statement. : )
     

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