The Music of Sentences – OCWW Week 3

Another great session by Fred Shafer regarding the rhythm of sentences.  The biggest takeaway from this week’s class was the idea of breaking the proper rules of grammar for effect.  Now, I’m already doing that to some extent.  Sentence fragments and I are close friends.  I love me some one word sentences and whatnot.  However, I’m pretty diligent about proper punctuation (to the best of my ability, that is).  But Fred showed us a Lauren Groff example that had a bunch of punctuation no-nos:  sentence fragments. comma splices, run-on sentences, and more.  There were commas missing and grammar was set aside for the sake of rhythm.  The author decided that she wanted the sentences to flow a certain way and put the rules of grammar aside to achieve it.

Now, you have to be good to pull that off.  Am I that good?  Probably not yet (except for the aforementioned fragment thing. I am so good enough for that).  But that concept alone opened up a lot of possibilities in my brain.  Fred pointed out that it was important to remember that fiction writing isn’t like other kinds of writing.  There are rules, but they’re a lot more bendy than in other kinds of writing.

Bendy is good!  I’m looking forward to breaking some rules in service of a story.

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