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Short sentences

Switch Blayde
Updated:

I've heard several of you mention you dislike short sentences. While perusing book cover sizes, I came across the Jack Reacher novels. I never read one, but loved the movie so I sampled the beginning of the first one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0515153656/ref=s9_simh_gw_g14_i1_r?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=06X25X954JP0AW6A1CJF&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2079475242&pf_rd_i=desktop)

Talk about short, choppy sentences!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I took a peek at the first page using the look inside. Just looking at the first paragraph, it has six sentences in total, three of them look like incomplete sentences to me. And this is for a dead tree published book.

What
The
Fuck!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

I looked out the window. Georgia. I saw rich land.


Yeesh! Still, the writing style suits the writer, as it reads smoothly and sets up what to expect from the book. You could do worse. Still, the above example sends shivers up my literary spine.

I haven't quite switched to short sentences, but I've begun reviewing sentence length. I still use compound sentences, but I keep each sentence to a single subject/topic. Having multiple topics in a single sentence takes more time to read and process, and it's harder for readers to process the ideas. Separating them into separate sentences makes the reader pay more attention to each concept, processing each before moving onto the next.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Just looking at the first paragraph, it has six sentences in total, three of them look like incomplete sentences to me.


I use fragmented sentences all the time for effect. I didn't fault him for using incomplete sentences.

Actually, I didn't fault him at all. I like short sentences. I thought his were too choppy, but it's written in 1st-person and maybe that's the way Jack Reacher is.

Wasn't Hemingway famous for short sentences? And he won a Pulitzer.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Wasn't Hemingway famous for short sentences? And he won a Pulitzer.

Hemingway was a war-time news reporter, so learned to write using short, concise descriptions to keep within preset word counts. That's why his writing was so rich, he worked to pack as much detailed descriptions as he could into his short passages.

richardshagrin

If you are on trial for multiple offenses and are guilty, you hope for short sentences.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

If you are on trial for multiple offenses and are guilty, you hope for short sentences.

Short sentences like "Guilty" (by the jury), as opposed, "We find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but innocent of the more serious charge of capital murder."

If it was my trial, I'd prefer the more detailed sentence, even if it's not as dramatic. 'D

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Short sentences like "Guilty"


That's a verdict, not a sentence.

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