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