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Cefor
March 24th, 2012, 03:38 AM
I have no idea if any of you has come across this before... and I have no idea now where I first found it, but this is a great paragraph to demonstrate the need for varying sentence length:

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

Fallow
March 24th, 2012, 05:53 AM
Yep, variation in sentence length is pretty much required for good writing. You don't have to constantly jump between compound sentences and three-word sentences, but some variation really helps.

Kyle R
March 24th, 2012, 07:07 AM
I love cool little tips like this.

I read about it a while ago in a random book on writing fiction (I'm assuming it's from one of James Scott Bell's books, as he tends to be enamored by writing tricks like this, but I could be wrong) and though he mentioned the aesthetic quality of varying sentence lengths, I don't recall such a wonderful example.

Great stuff!

Olly Buckle
March 24th, 2012, 10:15 AM
say listen to this, it is important.To me this is the important bit, getting the writing style to fit with the content. Mind you it can work the other way around, one short sentence in with a group of ordinary length ones will also stand out. Good tip, as Kyle says.

squidtender
March 24th, 2012, 03:58 PM
Wow. I've never seen that before! I instinctively followed that rule, but to see it put in such a way is fantastic. Thank you, my friend. Cheers!

Jon M
March 24th, 2012, 11:09 PM
I have no idea if any of you has come across this before... and I have no idea now where I first found itI think I might know (http://www.writingforums.com/writers-lounge/124290-your-favourite-quotes-your-own-other-peoples-11.html#post1481762). :)

Wish I knew who said it, cause it's one of my favorites.

Cefor
March 24th, 2012, 11:28 PM
I think I might know (http://www.writingforums.com/writers-lounge/124290-your-favourite-quotes-your-own-other-peoples-11.html#post1481762). :)

Wish I knew who said it, cause it's one of my favorites.

Haha! Okay, so at least one of you have seen it before ;)

Nah, I stumbled across this on my wanderings of the tinternet.