Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Rhythm of the Word, Part 2

The Rhythm of the Word continues with more sentence selection choices to vary your writing style and engage your reader:

Repetition of a key term. Example: We all inhabit a mysterious world—the inner world, the world of the mind.

A variation: same word repeated in parallel structure. Example: Romeo and Juliet captures a moment of time, a moment of passion, a moment of desperate indulgence.

Emphatic appositive at end, after a colon
Example: Atop the back of the lobster is a collection of trash: tiny starfish, moss, sea conchs, crabs, pieces of kelp.

A variation: appositive (single or pair of series after a dash)
Example: Many traditional philosophies echo the ideas of one man—Plato

Interrupting modifier between subject and verb
Example: A small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, can make millions think.

A full sentence as interrupting modifier
Example: Juliet’s famous question—early in the balcony scene she asks, “Wherefore art thou, Romeo—is often misunderstood; she meant not “where,” but “why.”

Introductory or concluding participles
Example: Overwhelmed by the tear gas, the rioters groped their way toward the fountain to wash their eyes.

A single modifier out of place for emphasis
Example: Frantically, the young mother called for help.

Prepositional phrase before subject and verb
Example: Despite his master’s degree in economics, the only job Chester could get was making change in an Atlantic City casino.

Object or complement before subject and verb
Example: His kind of sarcasm I do not like.

Complete inversion of normal pattern
Example: Down the street and through the mist stumbled the unfamiliar figure.

Paired constructions
Example: The more the Texas Ranger searched through the country, the more elusive the trail of the train robbers became.

A paired construction for contrast only
Example: Genius, not stupidity, has limits.

Dependent clause as subject or object or complement
Example: What man cannot imagine, he cannot create.

Absolute construction anywhere in sentence
Example: His blanket torn and his finger burnt, the small boy cried on his father’s shoulder.

The short, simple sentence for relief or dramatic effect
Example: Days passed.

A short question for dramatic effect
Example: What caused the change?

The deliberate fragment
Example: Fair enough.

Keep all these sentence styles near your computer to help you remember all the different variations.  And pay attention to the rhythm of the sentences, the syllables and the words.  The ear is the best writer.  If you keep your writing lyrical, you're writing will sing!

Weeks to come:  Shameless Promotion

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