1. Andrew Rosemel
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    Andrew Rosemel Member

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    How to fix choppy writing?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Andrew Rosemel, Jul 24, 2016.

    hello, everyone! I need some advice.. I have a problem with writing choppy sentences. They don't blend together, and are a struggle to read smoothly. I'm just not good with transitioning sentences to continue the flow of the story. I write in first person, so too many of my sentences start with "I". Please throw all your knowledge and wisdom my direction. Because I need it. Thanks!
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you qualify for the Review Room? (There's a number of days/number of posts/number of reviews requirement that isn't immediately coming to mind.) If so, I'd suggest posting there, specifically asking for this as the primary thing for reviewers to focus on, and pointing from this thread to that one.
     
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  3. haider
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    haider Member

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    I have the same problem as you are, but I write in Omensient Point View, which in my experience feels less choppy. But I think generally even if used any point of view, it could be choppy. My advice would be use more commas, transitional words, words with same syllables and vary the length of sentence. Its easier said than done, so I suggest to read books by authors like Scott lynch, Joe Abercrombie and Patrick Rothfuss. All these writers in my opinion good at smooth writing. Lastly I would say try to have revision process for it by it self, sense you think its weak spot of yours.So could improve it heavily.
     
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  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Two things:

    A) Think in terms of paragraphs rather than sentences. If you can train yourself to do that, you'll find your writing smoothing itself out almost without effort on your part.

    B) Often, starting with "I" too often is the result of overusing filter words. Don't overuse constructions like "I saw..." and "I heard...". For example, rather than writing,

    I heard a car coming down the road. I looked out the window. I saw a red Corvette drive by.

    Instead, write

    I heard a car coming down the road. It was a red Corvette, too new and expensive for my neighborhood.

    It's still not really good, but along with eliminating a couple of unnecessary "I" sentences and some banality, you include some interesting information.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just link ideas together. As well as that, you can eliminate the excessive use of "I..." by simply not distancing the reader from your character.

    Example: Music drifted into the room.

    Instead of: I heard music drift into the room.

    Get straight to the point - don't tell me "I heard, I saw, I walked, I reached..." Go straight for the good bits as if you're really experiencing it yourself. The "I..." just distances the reader.


    But Chicken above is right, something like this you really need an example of your writing for us to say anything useful.

    @ChickenFreak - it's 2 constructive reviews :)
     
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  6. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    Read poetry. This helped me in ways I never thought, and, for sure, it helped with the flow and sound of my writing. Read poetry aloud. Read the same poem twenty times. Or you can even listen to poetry on youtube. I like to put on a little Gertrude Stein on when I am cleaning the house. I don't consider myself a poet, but I do try to read poetry every day. I got into it when I took a poetry class back when I was getting my MFA in fiction. My class wasn't a poetry workshop, though, we did have to write some of our own. But I took the class because I wanted to be exposed to more poetry and have discussions about it. Poets, truly great poets, have such a handle on rhythm. By mid semester, my fiction was a lot smoother. I can't say I became a better poet, but I have a better understanding of my relationship with language.
     
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  7. Andrew Rosemel
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    Andrew Rosemel Member

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    I'm not yet sure if I qualify, I'm looking for the Review Room now. So we'll see. And thank you very much for the suggestion! I'm sure it'll help.
     
  8. Andrew Rosemel
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    Andrew Rosemel Member

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    Yeah, I think any pov in writing can be choppy, it all depends on the writer. And good points! I do use comma's a lot, but usually in the mistake of trying to combine two sentences. And I've never heard of those authors, so I will definitely be checking them out.
    I do seem to get stuck with revision, I end up switching around words and sentences into still choppy messes. But thanks so much for your advice! It will definitely help me now on.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you've never been there, then you won't qualify in terms of having made some reviews. But it's just two reviews made before you can submit a piece, so that's not too bad. The other requirements--number of days and number of posts--I don't recall.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Fourteen days and twenty posts. He qualifies on those counts.
     
  11. Andrew Rosemel
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    Andrew Rosemel Member

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    Thank you, you have super helpful advice! I am constantly in a mindset of focusing on individual sentences instead of the overall paragraph. And your example was
    I was never much into poetry, it was often confusing for me. But I am never closed to new ideas! I can see where the smooth flow of poetry probably helps things out in writing. I'll look up Gertrude Stein and listen to her for awhile. See how that goes. Thank you very much for contributing! I appreciate it loads.
     

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