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  1. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Active Member

    Dec 13, 2009
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    Embellishing Skeletons

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by waitingforzion, Apr 28, 2014.

    In another thread discussing how to arrange words for rhythm and clarity, someone mentioned writing skeleton sentences and adding details to it. A lesson from the book "Mastering the Craft of Writing" reminded me about this and I would like to know more about it.

    Do I simply write a complete first draft in all general sentences and then make them more specific, or do I embellish each sentence after I write it? What is the best approach to this?

    Also, if you are the person who mentioned this, what exactly did you mean?
  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    Seems like a lot of extra energy. I write quickly then go back and clean it up. But if I worried about writing a certain way then adding stuff, I might as well try to write the sentences perfectly the first time around.

    In other words, I write, let my thoughts flow out, and then I worry about perfecting it later.
  3. Okon

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

    Sep 26, 2013
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    Yeah, that sounds like it wouldn't be a fun way to approach it. What I do, kind of like pre-editing, is quickly rescan my paragraph: "What's this going to mean to the reader who doesn't know what it's like inside my head?"

    When I type 'chair,' you and me think different things. That's fine. When it's important to the story or atmosphere/scene, then I need to get more specific. Is it one of those wooden dining seats? Does it suffer from nicks and boot-marks, or is it a spotless wonder that likely hasn't seen many asses? How will either of those possibilities make the protagonist feel?
  4. Pheonix

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

    Jul 24, 2012
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    The Windy City
    I'm with Ginger on this one. If you're going for a specific effect or feel with your writing, why not just try and get that from the start? If you write enough, your style stablizes and you might end up not even having to really think about it to get the effects that you want, but that will only come through practice.
  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    makes no sense to me for anyone to not write the best sentences they're capable of, from the get-go...
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    Is there any chance that this was me? If so, then my message wasn't clear, but I do seem to remember giving some, "address clarity before rhythm" advice.

    t think that it makes sense to write fairly naturally, in whatever is your normal writing voice at the time, before you worry too much about the rhythm. I think that it would be even better to just write fairly naturally and let the tendency to rhythm slowly grow, as one of many writing-improvement goals, over months and years and hundreds of thousands of words and many different pieces, rather than forcing it for each and every piece.

    If I was the source of the advice, that would be what I meant. I don't see that as the same as writing skeleton sentences and adding details.

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