Jul 9, 2018

The Importance of Sentence Length in Writing

gary provost famous quote on writing The Importance of Sentence Length in Writing


First published in 1985, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing, is a book by author Gary Provost that is loaded with constructive tips for writers of all pedigree.

In this particular excerpt we learn the importance of sentence length with a literal example wrapped within the lesson itself. I’ve included a few other formats below to make this great advice easier to share 🙂


“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.
Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”
– Gary Provost


gary provost quote The Importance of Sentence Length in Writing


gary provost quote on writing The Importance of Sentence Length in Writing