I was going through my emails and I bumped into this particular one, I starred it so I could read it later. The subject line read “Write your best sentence”
I’ve come across so many writing advice; show, don’t tell or describe don’t explain, always omit “very” and “that”, avoid head-hopping… none of them had struck me as hard as the question in that mail.
“What sets your sentences apart?”
To be a good writer I know I have to do a lot of things like; read books, write what I feel, be able to tell a story… but I never thought about sentences.
There is magic beyond the mundane sentence pieces. Nobody can be a writer without loving sentences. Because every story is built brick by brick with sentences.
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Does your writing style provoke thoughts? Is it sensual yet you’re not writing about sex? How intentional are you while writing? How often can you rewrite a couple of sentences to make them a line packed with value, emotions, or just something hard to shake off?
These questions ran through my head after I read that mail, about a girl who wrote to an editor many times and got rejected plenty of times.
Her story was unique, her idea smart. But her lines were similar to everyone else’s, when she asked the editor why he couldn’t accept her story, he answered “I liked your story but…What sets your sentences apart?
She went back to work and when she wrote him the same piece again, she got published.
It was hard for me to accept that writing is all about patience and lifelong practice. Especially when you’re sitting in front of thousands of words with no clue on how to get yourself to go again. It’s crazy. But yeah, writing is a craft that gets sexier the more you explore it.
Now I don’t mind writing something over and over again till it’s smooth and easy to sift through.
I’m not talking about dotting my Is and Ts, I’m talking about making my story entertaining but also artistic.
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Making my characters complex and using creative prose to drive my plot.
To be a great writer, I figured I have to write more often.
The first draft won’t make sense but the tenth or fifteenth will. And if it doesn’t, I’ll continue to polish it.
Now I pay more attention to the basic materials of sentences; the words, the phrases, and the artwork of language.
Because only strong, beautiful, and sturdy sentences can withstand a critical eye and please the discerning reader.
There has to be something that will tell my sentences apart from everyone else’s. It’s not just the craft, it’s also a combination of every other tiny detail.
To create a soulful story and also make sure it’s full of spice, I work more on my sentences. And writing memorable sentences is so fulfilling.
Great sentences make the readers look, really look, at a very tiny thing.
It’s a sentence that teaches us to observe the world, maybe even to see it for the first time. It has wisdom to it, and many great sentences teach the reader about the world or about themselves.
As someone who has fallen in love with the smell of sentences, I’ve become obsessed with living the crazy writing life.
Guest Author: Zenstateofmind
Zenstateofmind is a fiction genius who loves to scribble emotions and explore the world of writing through words. She helps beginner writers finish their manuscripts in 30 days through active coaching. She can be reached here: http://www.instagram.com/zenstateofmindwriter