You have some amazing ideas. Your imagination is superb. And you want to become a remarkable writer. But if you cannot craft effective sentences, how would you communicate? Everything you write, be it a blog, an e-mail, an official letter, a short story begins and ends with a sentence. Whenever you communicate some content, you should be able to write effective sentences. How do you improve your sentence structure?
1. Include logic
“The skill it takes to produce a sentence”, Stanley Fish said, “the skill of lining events, actions, and objects in a strict logic—is also the skill of creating a world.” In other words, your sentence should sound logical. How do you write a logical sentence? The key is to ensure subject-verb agreement in your sentence. Ensure that the subject of your sentence matches with the verb. When you write, see if it answers this: Who, What, Why, When, Where and How. Take this sentence for instance: Moses hid under the thicket of willows in the dark. The sentence has a structure and piques your curiosity. That is what an effective sentence does. It conveys logic and a story.
2. Create images
We love images; anything that is visual appeals to us. Use your imagination to craft image-filled sentences or stories. Use active verbs and nouns in your writing. For instance, look at this sentence. The screaming cannibal fled out of the cave. What does the sentence do to you? It paints a picture in your mind.
3. Keep track of verbs
Keep track of your verbs. Sometimes, people use wrong verbs. For instance, if you want to say somebody questioned, then you should use the verb asked or questioned and not said or told. Said or told sounds better in a reported speech context. When you are reporting something, you should use the verb said or told in the past or the present tense. Ideally, you should not mix these verbs. This will only lead to confusion. How do you keep a track? You keep a track by reading what you have written once again. If you cannot do it immediately, then do it at a later point. This makes you look at your writing from a fresh angle.
4. Do not mix person
Sometimes, you begin your sentences with “I” and then end up mixing all other forms like “you” or “we.” This may happen when you write a lot. You should keep an eye on the person that is used in your write-up. Usually, built in grammar checkers do not spot those errors. It is wiser to keep a track yourself.
5. Write short sentences
Nobody likes to read long essays, especially when you are in a hurry. Use short, clear and crisp sentences. How do you make your sentences shorter? You combine them. You do not have to write long-winding sentences to generate impact. Read what you have written and see if you can understand it. It is a good idea to make somebody else read what you have written. Ensure that your nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc, are in the correct sequence. Develop your sentences slowly.
Remember that it is your sentences that sell, be it fiction or non-fiction. When you review your writing, try to create sentences that make sense so that they appeal to your readers.