1. Eddyz Aquila
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    Eddyz Aquila Member

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    How to improve your paragraphs/sentences

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Eddyz Aquila, Sep 4, 2009.

    I've been reviewing my existing work of lately and there's some paragraphs and sentences which are blunt and sometimes hang in the air, literally. When you read them, no matter how you make it, they simply are cut right at the tip when you were expecting to finish off nicely and let the reader enjoy, it's like you give them a relaxing 100 km/h ride in a Mercedes and suddenly out of nowhere a brick wall comes in front. :(

    This is especially when it comes to descriptions.

    Any suggestions? More adjectives for example? Conjunctions, link the short, blunt sentences together?

    Thanks. :confused:
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's kind of hard to know what you are talking about without seeing a sample. You can PM me with a sample. I'll be more than happy to take a look at it and see what suggestions I can offer.
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Get the book Style by Joseph Williams. Any version is good.
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If you post some I'll do my best to help you fix it up, but besides that, I think the best answer is just read....read authors with a style similar to what you have in mind for your book and see what their sentences are like, how they put together a paragraph. There isn't a quick fix - you can't just throw in more adjectives or conjunctions.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    From what you say, I doubt the problem is with sentence length. More likely, it's a problem with narrative flow.

    Whether your sentences are short ot long, they must come to an and. If what follows is not well connected to, or transitioned from, what came before, the length of the sentence will not smooth over the rough road the reader is travelling.

    Short, direct sentences are not a problem. The only thing you will gain from stringing sentences together to lengthen them is a sense of relief when the reader finally reaches a full stop.

    Off the main point: I doubt your sentences are literally hanging in the air, unless you are in the habit of stringing daisy chains made from your manuscript pages, across your room. Literally means in the literal, dictionary meaning, as opposed to figuratively. Using it for emphasis alone is a common but annoying error. For example, if you literally died laughing, your friends would soon be weeping at your funeral service.
     
  6. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    You really should show a sample.

    A good illustration of why your post is difficult to respond to would be something like this:

    "Hey, guys. I'm building a bridge, and for some reason, every time I look over my work, the metal beams seem to be warped, and I could SWEAR that they are perfect when I finish on them. What's going on?"

    No one has any CLUE (not even me, since I just made that up off the top of my head, so pardon it if it is not a realistic scenario) what I'm talking about, so they could never give me any cognizant advice.;

    Cogito may be right about what he's saying, but we won't really know until you tell us.
     

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