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Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot by Jane Cleland

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Chapter Thirteen

Write Sentences That Work

Certain brief sentences are peerless in their ability to give one the feeling that nothing remains to be said.

—Jean Rostand

Say What You Mean, Clearly

To be a successful writer, you need to adhere to the rules of conversational grammar (with obvious exceptions, such as writing in dialect). You don’t to need be a grammarian, nor do you need to stick to the formal rules of academic writing, but you do need to understand the relationship between grammar and punctuation and clarity.

Note my use of the word conversational grammar. In formal writing, you’re not supposed to start sentences with and, but, because, therefore, so, and other words of that ilk. That can be limiting to a fiction or literary nonfiction ...

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