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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sentence Crimes

I've been thinking a lot lately (I can hear you when you snicker), with all the loverly good contests & all, about the rules. Opening sentences, opening paragraphs, first pages; I think that pretty well sums up the nightmares of late. So, as promised, 3 more gems of wisdom from the pages of Clark.

(Misdemeanor) Passive/Aggressive is NOT a Bad Thing - Clark states, "use passive verbs to showcase the 'victim' of action." The active verbs tell us who does what; while the passive verbs tell us who is on the receiving end.

Ex: Jodi ran every other Tuesday. (I sense a theme!)
Ex: It is a known fact that a woman in want of tennis shoes must be in search of a run.

(Felony) Adverb Abuse is Criminal - Adverbs are to verbs as icing is to cakes. (I think I just channeled the SAT; ugh.) The point, an adverb should be used to contradict the verb - not to repeat it. Twisting it up is key.

Ex: Jodi ran quickly.
Ex: Jodi ran ploddingly.

(Capital) The ING of Death - Too many -ings spoil the sentence & the paragraph. Control is required along with the well-placed zing of -ing to create the writer flourish.

Ex: Jodi was running, jumping and hopping through the puddles of her day.
Ex: Jodi ran, jumped and hopped through the puddles of her day.

Ah, the lament of sentence structure leading to life sentences for the writer. Again, my poor sentences do not do the advice justice. But hey, artistic license & all (shrug). And remember, if ya can't do the time, don't commit the sentence crime.

Happy Writing,



  1. Thanks for the information on sentences!

  2. Love the homage to Austen. :)
    I am guilty of ing-ing. :(

  3. You ladies are very welcome. And, Erin, I too suffer from -ing disease. But, I'm workin' on it.

    Thanks for the comments.