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Writers Tip #45: Finish Sentences

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

Today’s tip: Finish your thoughts. Limit ellipses and sentence fragments.

Beginners use ellipses to show authenticity in a scene, but what it becomes is unrealistic. Most of us finish our sentences because our listeners wouldn’t understand. Even in interior monologue, we complete the thought, it’s just fast.

And, don’t use fragments. It seems authentic, stream of consciousness, but it’s confusing.

Credit: The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blog,Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is  editor of a K-8 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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4 thoughts on “Writers Tip #45: Finish Sentences

    • It’s funny how often people think throwing out a few prepositional phrases is good enough, maybe a verb. I used to, until I read you shouldn’t and noticed how awkward it sounded when you do.


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