Delicious Sentences: Part 2

As I see it, to be a better writer I must be able to write better sentences. Whether writing or editing, I need to keep raising the bar and be conscious of my next evolution.

Sentences put ideas together and whether you’re writing a blog or your family’s history, one of the first goals is to understand how sentences combine ideas to present information. By definition, a complete sentence expresses a complete thought and contains both a subject and a predicate. However, perhaps you have several ideas that make up your complete thought; thus, the trick is getting those ideas to work together to convey your meaning.

Let me give you an exercise on the cumulative sentence. I’m going to give you a main clause and then you build on it. Add two or three modifiers … get creative!

George was raking leaves in the backyard …

Now, as you add a modifier notice how each one adds another level of meaning to the sentence.

George was raking leaves in the backyard, thinking about what he was going to say, completely focused, intent on doing the right thing.

Here are some sentence writing tips: vary the length of your sentences; express complete thoughts; speak honestly and naturally; follow basic grammar rules; and pay attention to the pace and rhythm of your sentences.

And finally: read. If you become an attentive and regular reader your own writing will improve as you become more conscious of studying other writers who share your beliefs and whose style you enjoy yourself.