Syntax: Playing with Sentence Structure

Writer’s Notebook

Daily Prompt #21: Inspiration from your peers

I could hear laughter coming from all directions. I managed to make a fool of myself again.

~ Pursuer of Thoughts

Take this two-sentence story written by a peer and incorporate it into your own piece of flash fiction.

Write for five minutes.

Let’s debrief on yesterday’s activity.  What did you discover about yourself and punctuation?  What questions do you have about when to use certain types of punctuation?

Syntax (sentence structure) is key to effective writing as well.  Knowing how to construct a variety of types of sentences grammatically correct is essential if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.

Do the great ones break the rules?  Sure.  The key though is: they know they’re doing it.  

This little “cheat sheet” is something I want you to glue, tape, or somehow attach to your writer’s notebook so you have it as a handy reference.

Now, for your writing activity, take a piece  you’ve already written and do the following:

  • Check that you have actually written your sentences grammatically correct.  If you’re not sure, ask me or a peer to check.  Many of you have minor errors on your blog posts.  It might be a good idea this Friday when we’re in the lab to check those too.
  • Change some of your sentence types to see how it affects the tone of your piece.  It’s amazing how a simple sentence in the midst of complex ones can stand out beautifully.

As  you write, I will conference with a few of you.

Happy writing!

Oh, any updates on our chain story?



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