Right Sentence: A New Year Resolution

Only a day to go  and I will start over. Another year. Another set of writing resolutions: nonfiction manuscript to finish; dig through more research; get back to writing morning pages.

But an image has dogged me. A child in ringlets scraping a nib across a school copybook in a first attempt at joined up writing. Every letter, every word, every sentence laboriously built.

And I know that this should be my writing resolution: to craft and shape each sentence and make it as crisp and pure and strong as I possibly can.

Hemingway favoured short minimalist sentences with vigorous verbs. You can read about his 5 tips for writing well here.

Janet Fitch says Write the Sentence, not just the story: ‘try to heighten in every way your sensitivity to the sound and rhythm and shape of sentences’.

So this is my simple writing resolution. To go and craft the best sentences I can.  Easier said than done, you might say. Maybe you have advice on how to make great sentences?

Photo credit.


  1. Mick on 30 December 2010 at 10:19 am

    Short punchy jabs can be a knock-out Mick

  2. Patricia Byrne on 30 December 2010 at 10:23 am

    Thanks. What I take from that is that it’s the energy behind the pen (the jab) that counts. So work on building the writer energy.