Ory's writing notes: The Sentence.

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 266

The Sentence, the basic unit of writing. The sentence is made up of two parts: The subject (A noun or pronoun) and the Predicate (The action being done). In other words "A noun performs a verb." So with us having learned about nouns, pronouns, and verbs, I feel it is time we build very simple sentences and build on them for the remainder of the blog (Everything in this blog, after this, will be about enhancing sentences.)

Subject: A Subject is a noun or pronoun that the sentence is about. Now for the purposes of imagery, the more defined the noun; the more precise the image will be.

Example 1: The Cardinal.

Example 2: Azure (This is a character from my book.)

-

A simple Predicate is a verb being done in the sentence. It can be an action verb (which are the best type), A state-of-being, or a linking verb. So let's add some action to our examples!

Example 1: The Cardinal chirped. (This is a great verb because it adds sound to the image.)

Example 2: Azure sat.

Here we go, two very basic sentences. (You could write a whole book doing that. It might not be engaging for adults but it would be for children learning to read.)

-

Now things are going to get a little tricky. A simple sentence can have a compound subject, a compound predicate, or both.

Compound Subject: Azure and I Danced. (Two subjects, Azure and I, do a verb (Dance).)

Compound Predicate: Azure Danced and Sang. (Azure, the subject, performed two actions (Danced and sung.)

Both: Azure and I danced and Sang. (The subjects, Azure and I, performed two actions (Danced and Sung.)

Now you can add as many nouns and actions as you want. While I don't believe there is any 'real rule' for this I feel anything beyond three of each would be boarding the limit.

I want to address want a compound sentence is. My above examples HAVE ALL BEEN simple sentences. A Compound sentence is where you have two sentences joined together.

Two sentences: Azure Sang. I danced.

Compound sentence: Azure Sang, and I danced.

Understand the difference between a simple sentence, with compound subjects and Predicates, and a compound sentence. This will become important when we get to clauses.

-

Before I move onto Objects I want to say that every word, phrase, verbal, or preposition, should either belong to the subject or the predicate. If it doesn't aid either one; it needs to be cut. I sometimes overwrite and put too many words into a sentence; this is bad. Make every word count.

-

Now, as we know a Verb can be transitive (The action is done to something) or Intransitive (The action is just done.) If the verb is Transitive it will have a direct object.

Transitive: I (Subject) Kicked (Predicate) the Ball (Direct object.)

Intransitive: I (Subject) Slept. (Predicate)

Now you need to be careful. A direct object will only ever answer the question what?

Example: I kicked what? Answer: The ball.

You can also have compound Direct objects.

Example: I kicked the red ball and the blue ball.

Indirect objects are nouns that receive the action indirectly after it is done to the direct object (sound confusing doesn't it?) Not all sentences with direct objects will have an indirect object, but all sentences with an indirect object MUST have a direct object.

Example: I (subject) gave (Predicate) Katie (Indirect object because she received the kiss) a kiss (Direct object because it is what he gave.)

Like anything else, you can have a compound indirect object.

Example: I gave Katie and Jess a kiss.
-

Subject complements are a noun, pronoun, or Adjective after a linking verb that remains or describes the subject.

Example: Katie is a great kisser.

Object complements are a noun, pronoun, or Adjective that renames or describes the Direct Object.

Example: I think Katie (Object) is awesome. (Object complement.)

-

Conclusion.

A simple sentence is made up of the following parts.

Subject: What the sentence is about. (Needed)
Predicate: An Action verb or linking verb. (Needed)
Direct object: What receives the action directly. (Dependent if the action verb is transitive or intransitive)
Indirect object: What receives the action indirectly. (Optional)
Subject complements: To rename or describe the subject after a linking verb. (Used with linking verbs)
Object complements: To rename or describe the direct object. (Optional).

So let's write a few basic sentences.

Example 1: The Cardinal (subject) chirped (Predicate/action verb) me (Indirect object) a song (Direct object) that broke my heart (Object complement).

Example 2: Azure (Subject) is (Predicate/linking verb) a French-Asian. (Subject Complement)

Naturally, I can make these sentences more involved by adding compound subjects, predicates, direct objects, and indirect objects, however, I don't see the need to make things difficult. The only exception I can see this being very usual was if you were trying to create confusion (a scene full of chaos) in the reader that the MC is experiencing. It is possible to write a sentence that reflects the state of the MC, and in fact, that might be the best way to construct sentences. If the scene is confusing than write confusing sentences (that are grammatically correct) if the scene is full of quick action, quick sentences. If the scene is relaxed and long-winded, write long, flowing sentences. In fact, I'll give a few examples.

Action: Jino stabbed. Marshall blocked.
Relaxed: Azure sang me a song that laid waste to my heart.
Confusion: Jino and Marshall kicked, punched, and stabbed Betty, Mark, and Jess bloody. (Not really the best example.)

This concludes my notes and thoughts on the basic sentence. The next thing I will be reviewing is Modifiers (Adverbs and Adjectives.)
Trish and Lifeline like this.
  • BayView
  • OJB
  • BayView
  • OJB
You need to be logged in to comment