Once you know the 3 basic types of sentences, move on and read the following tips on writing great sentences for fiction and other creative works.
5 Tips For Writers To Write Great Sentences
1.Express an idea in every sentence
You sentence should be meaningful. It should express, question, inform, or explain something. If it doesn’t do any of these things, then reconsider cutting it out all together. Every sentence needs to make sense and should be relevant in writing.
2. Vary sentence pattern and lengths
Use different lengths, approaches, techniques to make a point by repetition, but make sure not to make it too obvious. Readers hate monotony, so keep your readers entertained by mixing up different kinds of sentences and providing a healthy dose of variety.
3.Use strong verbs
This will eliminate the need to use unnecessary adverbs and adjectives in the sentences giving you cleaner and sharper sentences.
4. Combine sentences
Try and combine sentences to add variety to your prose. Don’t just use a single kind of sentences, try the different kind of them and in different ways, using varying verbs, conjugation, structures, etc.
5. Avoid Passive Voice and make use of Active Voice
This will also make your readers feel a part of your story rather than feeling out of the loop. Passive voice is boring and starts to go stale too fast, so use active voice in order to engage your readers.
I hope this helps you in writing better sentences, and as a result, better prose.
Most of the writers, especially ESL Writers – English as Second Language Writers, face the problems of creative effective, sentences with great flow while writing a fictional story. On the surface it may not seem like a big problem, but when you really think about it, a sentence is practically the most basic unit in a novel, so how do you think sentences won’t have an effect on the overall narrative? Not paying enough attention to each and every sentence is what leads to bad writing!
In order to make it easier, I am beginning with the most basic types of sentences before explaining the topics of Fragmented Sentences and Run-On Sentences.
3 Types Of Sentences That All Fiction Writers Must Know
A Simple Sentence is a sentence consisting of only one clause, with a single subject and predicate.
So a Simple Sentence should have these basic 3 things: A subject, a verb and should make a complete thought.
Examples of Simple Sentences:
Do you play piano?
The bus leaves every morning at 5:00 AM.
Water freezes at 0°C.
I love my cat.
2. Compound Sentence
A Compound Sentence is a sentence consisting of two or more verbs and two or more simple sentences joined by a conjunction.
So a Compound Sentence must have 3 things: 2 or more verbs, 2 or more simple sentences and at least one conjunction.
Examples of Compound Sentences:
I like coffee, and Seema likes tea.
Suzan went to work, but Sid went to the party, and I went home.
Our car broke down and we came last.
You can go for the Yoga class and I will go to the gym.
3. Complex Sentences
A Complex Sentence is formed by adding one or more subordinate or dependent clauses to the main or independent clause using conjunctions and/or relative pronouns.
NOTE: A clause is a simple sentence.
Examples of Complex Sentences:
Because my tea was too cold, I heated it in on the stove.
Although she was wealthy, she was still unhappy.
They returned the computer after they noticed it was damaged.
Whenever prices go up, customers buy less products.
Hello guys, I am back with another workshop as some students wanted me to have a morning batch for the last workshop. So here it is:
Details of the course:
Fees: Rs.1000 per student Date: 1st June to 5th June Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Platform: Zoom Sessionrecordings: Available on Request Certification: by Citrus Publishers (upon completion of assignment)
Introduction to Creative Writing & Fiction Writing
Genres in literature
Discovering The Writer Within
Ways of writing and the best way to write
WHAT to write – finding and developing ideas
Important Literary Devices
Importance of First Draft & Second Draft
Exposition, Narration & Point Of Views
Elements Of Fiction Writing
Tools Of Fiction Writing
Understanding Plotting a story
Elements of Plot Structure
Aristotle’s Basic Story Structure & 3 Traditional Plot Structures
Types of different characters
Character as per their narrative function
Character Motivation and Stakes
Profiling the characters
The technique of ‘Show, don’t Tell’
External conflict & Point Of Views
Dialogue writing basics
Understanding Pacing & Tension
Structuring a scene
Conflict, Resolution and Ending
My Story Framework
Elementary rules of Fiction Writing
How to improve your writing
Reading like a writer to improve your writing
Writing-Related Concepts: Freewriting, Morning Words or Pages, Blank Page Syndrome, Prompt-Writing, Idea Journal & Writing Rituals
Biggest Insecurities faced by Writers & Security Blanket For Writers
Techniques of planning: MindMapping and Brainstorming for Writing
Registration is free!
So register today and join the Workshop Group to start practicing the writing exercises with me!
I present to you Guided Writing Groups – 3 Tiers of Exclusive Writing Groups!
In all the workshops I’ve conducted and having spoken to over a 100 budding writers, the main problem with each and everyone’s writing, that I have been able to identify so far are two: lack of motivation (or simply not knowing what to write) and lack of feedback (not knowing where they can improve and get better.)
For this, I have come up with the perfect solution that will not only help the writers interested in improving their craft and writing more by developing a habit out of it but also by leaning new things related to the craft.
Read on to find out how these groups work on different levels and how you can benefit from them:
Guided Writing Group by Heena R. Pardeshi
Guided Writing Group – Basic Level
What does it include:
1 specially curated weekly writing story topic (4 topics in total) – basic level
Feedback on all the 4 stories
Doubt-clearing related to all 4 stories through email
Exclusive channel on Telegram only for paid members. Doubt-clearing and story submission through email.
The story prompts will be a mix of different formats of prompts that will help you explore the depths of your creativity.
Rs.350 per month
Guided Writing Group- Intermediate Level
What does it include:
Specially curated weekly writing story topics (4 topics in total) – intermediate level
Feedback/critique on all the 4 stories
Doubt-clearing related to all 4 stories
1/2 hour lecture on one writing-related topic every month. The topic will be different every month and will be taught over Google Meet.
Exclusive channel on Telegram only for paid members.
Doubt-clearing through email & WhatsApp
Story submission through email.
The story prompts will be a mix of different formats of prompts that will help you explore the depths of your creativity.
Crazy Cat Writers’ Flash Fiction is a Monthly Flash Fiction Challenge, where we share 2 topics every month for writers to write stories upto 1500 words. We pick one winner on each topic and publish the winners for each topic on the Crazy Cat Writer blog on the 15th and the 30th of each month.
You have to be a part of Crazy Cat Writers Writing Group in order to be able to participate.
The story can be on or revolve around the topic provided (it is okay even if you mention the topic in the story more than 5 times too without actually making it the focus.)
The story has to be a creative fiction or non-fiction piece (NO ARTICLES)
The story has to be under 1500 words.
You can submit one story per topic only.
Anyone can win multiple times if their stories are good.
Please try to keep your stories PG 13. If they are not, then don’t forget to add warning of 18+ in advance.
If your story has triggers or is about hard subject matters, then don’t forget to include a trigger warning.
Mother’s Day Poem
On a cold wintry morning,
I wake up see her right beside me sound asleep,
I tuck myself into her blanket and wish her Happy Mothers day Mom.
I don’t think these 18years would have been possible without you in it
It’s you who has given me strength whenever I’d lost faith in myself,
It’s you who has always been the first one to congratulate me for all my achievements.
It’s you with whom I feel safe and protected.
I still remember the time when you were sick but you’d still cook for the family,
I still remember the time when you would cook extra chapatis for school so that I can share it with my friends,
I still remember the day when it was the first day of school and I was crying and weeping but you had to let me go as I’d need to stand strong and tough.
Often I say things which I don’t mean,
At times I even annoy you and yell at you, But no matter what happens no one can replace you.
I just want to thank you,
For your wisdom, your encouragement and showering your love all these years. Happy Mothers day to all the mothers out there!
About The Writer
I am an 18 year old highschool student residing in Jaipur, Rajasthan. I am an Avid reader and a big time foodie. Growing up I have almost wanted to explore every possible field I could wheater it was dancing or playing sports but writing is something that has always stuck with me.
It was during the quarantine, I started taking writing seriously as a hobby to fritter my time away but as the months passed by I have really begun to enjoy it and keen on learning further in this field.
I believe that writing allows to break all barriers, cross all the boundaries, travel the whole world yet stay at the same place. To me writng is an escape from the reality and chaos that surround us.
I aim to study literature and journalism in future and write children’s books in future one day.
Crazy Cat Writers’ (CCW) Flash Fiction is a Monthly Flash Fiction Challenge, where we share 2 topics every month for writers to write stories upto 1500 words. We pick one winner on each topic and publish the winners for each topic on the Crazy Cat Writer blog on the 15th and the 30th of each month.
Hello guys, I am thrilled and elated to announce my 3-day workshop in association with Skill India, MESC India and Vidya Daan program.
Here are the details of this workshop:
Media & Entertainment Skills Council invites you for *Creative Warriors* online workshop, powered by *Vidyadaan* , on “Introduction to Fiction Writing” by *Ms. Heena R. Pradeshi,* a Fiction Author.
Date: 17-19 May 2021 Time:12:30 PM Topic : Introduction to Fiction Writing Registration Link: https://bit.ly/33GL6WB
*_TOPICS TO BE COVERED:_*
*Day 1* – What is Fiction Writing – Different genres in Fiction Writing – How to start writing stories – How to find ideas and how to maintain them – How to develop ideas for a story – Fiction Writing elements – Fiction Writing Tools
*Day 2* – How to plot a story – Basics of plotting a story – Description Vs Narration Vs exposition – Characterisation in Fiction Writing
*Day 3* – How to develop a writing habit – Importance of reading in fiction writing – Reading like a writer – Writing concepts – Idea Journal, morning words, Writers’ block, Writing Rituals Etc.
Let’s face it, as writers, we have all been in a situation where we have written something really good (maybe even out-of-this-world amazing) and have asked a friend, colleague or a family member to read it only to find out that you’ve messed up in punctuations! It is not that you don’t know which punctuations are to be used where, it is simply an error that all writers make because of being engrossed in their story too much to not have enough time to pay attention to the other “non-essential” things.
I know you are probably remembering that one embarrassing moment (probably more) where you were in this kind of a fix. Well, in order to make sure that you or I don’t end up in this kind of mess again, I thought it was a good idea to prepare a list for the basic punctuations to just go over once you have completed your story – kind of a checklist.
Basic Punctuations For Writers
1. Full stop or Period
Full stop (in British English) or period (in American English) is used to mark the end of a sentence. It is the most basic punctuation is used to end a sentence. You can use it to determine the length of your sentence in narrative fiction.
Ending sentences: Full stops indicate the end of sentences that are not questions or exclamations.
Abbreviations: A full stop is used after some abbreviations. If the abbreviation ends a declaratory sentence there is no additional period immediately following the full stop that ends the abbreviation (e.g. “My name is Gabriel Gama, Jr.”). Though two full stops (one for the abbreviation, one for the sentence ending) might be expected, conventionally only one is written. In British English, if the abbreviation includes both the first and last letter of the abbreviated word, as in ‘Mister’ [‘Mr’] and ‘Doctor’ [‘Dr’], a full stop is not used. In American English, the common convention is to include the period after all such abbreviations.
In conversation: In British English, the words “full stop” at the end of an utterance strengthen it, it admits of no discussion: “I’m not going with you, full stop.” In American English, the word “period” serves this function.
Comma, in English language is used mainly to separate parts of a sentence such as clauses and items in lists, mainly when there are three or more items listed.
Clauses: A comma is used to separate a dependent clause from the independent clause if the dependent clause comes first: After I fed the cat, I brushed my clothes.
Adverbs: Commas are always used to set off certain adverbs at the beginning of a sentence, including however, in fact, therefore, nevertheless, moreover, furthermore, and still. Using commas to offset certain adverbs is optional, including then, so, yet, instead, and too.
Parenthetical phrases: Commas are often used to enclose parenthetical words and phrases within a sentence. Such phrases are both preceded and followed by a comma, unless that would result in a doubling of punctuation marks or the parenthetical is at the start or end of the sentence. The following are examples of types of parenthetical phrases:
Introductory phrase: Once upon a time, my father ate a muffin.
Interjection: My father ate the muffin, gosh darn it!
Aside: My father, if you don’t mind me telling you this, ate the muffin.
Appositive: My father, a jaded and bitter man, ate the muffin.
Absolute phrase: My father, his eyes flashing with rage, ate the muffin.
Free modifier: My father, chewing with unbridled fury, ate the muffin.
Resumptive modifier: My father ate the muffin, a muffin which no man had yet chewed.
Summative modifier: My father ate the muffin, a feat which no man had attempted.
Quotations: Mostly in fiction writing, writers precede quoted material that is the grammatical object of an active verb of speaking or writing with a comma, as in Mr. Kershner says, “You should know how to use a comma.”
The comma and the quotation mark can be paired in two ways: In British English, punctuation is usually placed within quotation marks only if it is part of what is being quoted or referred to – My mother gave me the nickname “Bobby Bobby Bob Bob Boy”, which really made me angry.
In American English, the comma is commonly included inside a quotation mark – My mother gave me the nickname “Bobby Bobby Bob Bob Boy,” which really made me angry.
A question mark is a punctuation mark that indicates an interrogative clause or phrase.
4. Exclamation point
The exclamation mark, also referred to as the exclamation point in American English, is a punctuation mark usually used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume (shouting), or to show emphasis. The exclamation mark often marks the end of a sentence, for example: “Watch out!” Similarly, a bare exclamation mark (with nothing before or after) is often established in warning signs.
A sentence ending in an exclamation mark may represent an exclamation or an interjection (such as “Wow!”, “Boo!”), or an imperative (“Stop!”), or may indicate astonishment or surprise: “They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” Exclamation marks are occasionally placed mid-sentence with a function similar to a comma, for dramatic effect, although this usage is obsolete: “On the walk, oh! there was a frightful noise.”
Informally, exclamation marks may be repeated for additional emphasis (“That’s great!!!”), but this practice is generally considered unacceptable in formal prose.
The exclamation mark is sometimes used in conjunction with the question mark. This can be in protest or astonishment (“Out of all places, the squatter-camp?!”); a few writers replace this with a single, nonstandard punctuation mark, the interrobang, which is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation mark.
Overly frequent use of the exclamation mark is generally considered poor writing, for it distracts the reader and devalues the mark’s significance.
The apostrophe (‘ or ’) is a punctuation mark that it is used for three purposes in English llanguage:
The marking of the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of “do not” to “don’t”).
The marking of possessive case of nouns (as in “the eagle’s feathers”, “in one month’s time”, “at your parents’ home”).
The marking of plurals of individual characters (e.g. “p’s and q’s”).
Rules for most situations
Possessive personal pronouns, serving as either noun-equivalents or adjective-equivalents, do not use an apostrophe, even when they end in “s”. The complete list of those ending in the letter “s” or the corresponding sound /s/ or /z/ but not taking an apostrophe is ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, and whose.
Other pronouns, singular nouns not ending in “s”, and plural nouns not ending in “s” all take “‘s” in the possessive: e.g., someone’s, a cat’s toys, women’s.
Plural nouns already ending in “s” take only an apostrophe after the pre-existing “s” to form the possessive: e.g., three cats’ toys.
The colon (:) is a punctuation mark consisting of two equally sized dots placed one above the other on the same vertical line. A colon often precedes an explanation, a list, a quotation, or a block quotation. It is also used between hours and minutes in time, titles and subtitles of books, city and publisher in citations, chapter and verse in biblical citations, and for salutations in business letters and other formal letter writing.
Colon used before list: Daequan was so hungry that he ate everything in the house: chips, cold pizza, pretzels and dip, hot dogs, peanut butter, and candy.
Colon used before a description: Bertha is so desperate that she’ll date anyone, even William: he’s uglier than a squashed toad on the highway, and that’s on his good days.
Colon before definition: For years while I was reading Shakespeare’s Othello and criticism on it, I had to constantly look up the word “egregious” since the villain uses that word: outstandingly bad or shocking.
Colon before explanation: I guess I can say I had a rough weekend: I had chest pain and spent all Saturday and Sunday in the emergency room.
Some writers use fragments (incomplete sentences) before a colon for emphasis or stylistic preferences (to show a character’s voice in literature), as in this example: Dinner: chips and juice. What a well-rounded diet I have.
In the English language, a semicolon, or semi-colon, is most commonly used to link (in a single sentence) two independent clauses that are closely related in thought. When a semicolon joins two or more ideas in one sentence, those ideas are then given equal rank. Semicolons can also be used in place of commas to separate the items in a list, particularly when the elements of that list contain commas.
The semicolon is likely the least understood of the standard marks, and so it is not used by many English speakers.
Although terminal marks (i.e. full stops, exclamation marks, and question marks) indicate the end of a sentence, the comma, semicolon, and colon are normally sentence-internal, making them secondary boundary marks. The semicolon falls between terminal marks and the comma; its strength is equal to that of the colon.
Applications of the semicolon in English include:
Between items in a series or listing containing internal punctuation, especially parenthetic commas, where the semicolons function as serial commas. The semicolon divides the items on the list to more discrete parts, without which the remaining jumble of commas could cause confusion for the reader. This is sometimes called the “super comma” function of the semicolon:
The people present were Jamie, a man from New Zealand; John, the milkman’s son; and George, a gaunt kind of man with no friends.
Several fast food restaurants can be found within the following cities: London, England; Paris, France; Dublin, Ireland; and Madrid, Spain.
Here are three examples of familiar sequences: one, two, and three; a, b, and c; first, second, and third.
Between closely related independent clauses not conjoined with a coordinating conjunction, when the two clauses are balanced, opposed or contradictory:
My wife would like tea; I would prefer coffee.
I went to the basketball court; I was told it was closed for cleaning.
I told Kate she’s running for the hills; I wonder if she knew I was joking.
In rare instances, when a comma replaces a period (full stop) in a quotation, or when a quotation otherwise links two independent sentences:
“I have no use for this,” he said; “you are welcome to it.”
“Is this your book?” she asked; “I found it on the floor.”
Quotation marks, also known as quotes, quote marks, speech marks, inverted commas, or talking marks,are punctuation marks used in pairs in various writing systems to set off direct speech, a quotation, or a phrase. The pair consists of an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark, which may or may not be the same character.
In English writing, quotation marks are placed in pairs around a word or phrase to indicate:
Quotation or direct speech: Carol said “Go ahead” when I asked her if the launcher was ready.
Mention in another work of the title of a short or subsidiary work, such as a chapter or an episode: “Encounter at Farpoint” was the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Scare quotes, used to mean “so-called” or to express irony: The “fresh” bread was all dried up.
In American writing, quotation marks are normally the double kind (the primary style). If quotation marks are used inside another pair of quotation marks, then single quotation marks are used. For example: “Didn’t she say ‘I like red best’ when I asked her wine preferences?” he asked his guests. If another set of quotation marks is nested inside single quotation marks, double quotation marks are used again, and they continue to alternate as necessary (though this is rarely done).
British publishing is regarded as more flexible about whether double or single quotation marks should be used. A tendency to use single quotation marks in British writing is thought to have arisen after the mid-19th century invention of steam-powered presses and the consequent rise of London and New York as distinct, industrialized publishing centers whose publishing houses adhered to separate norms. However, The King’s English in 1908 noted that the prevailing British practice was to use double marks for most purposes, and single ones for quotations within quotations. Different media now follow different conventions in the United Kingdom.
Parentheses (also called simply brackets) contain adjunctive material that serves to clarify (in the manner of a gloss) or is aside from the main point. A milder effect may be obtained by using a pair of commas as the delimiter, though if the sentence contains commas for other purposes, visual confusion may result. That issue is fixed by using a pair of dashes instead, to bracket the parenthetical.
In American usage, parentheses are usually considered separate from other brackets, and calling them “brackets” is unusual.
Parentheses may be used in formal writing to add supplementary information, such as “Sen. John McCain (R – Arizona) spoke at length”. They can also indicate shorthand for “either singular or plural” for nouns, e.g. “the claim(s)”. It can also be used for gender neutral language, especially in languages with grammatical gender, e.g. “(s)he agreed with his/her physician” (the slash in the second instance, as one alternative is replacing the other, not adding to it).
Parenthetical phrases have been used extensively in informal writing and stream of consciousness literature. Examples include the southern American author William Faulkner (see Absalom, Absalom! and the Quentin section of The Sound and the Fury) as well as poet E. E. Cummings.
Note: Parentheses have historically been used where the dash is currently used in alternatives.
The hyphen is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. Son-in-law is an example of a hyphenated word. The hyphen is sometimes confused with dashes (figure dash ‒, en dash –, em dash —, horizontal bar―), which are longer and have different uses.
Although hyphens are not to be confused with en dashes, there are some overlaps in usage (in which either a hyphen or an en dash may be acceptable, depending on user preference.
So next time you write a story, all you have to do it just go through this list and make sure that your punctuations are in the right place.
Since the pandemic hit the world in early 2020, we all have been too dependent on the online learning system that is now a part of our daily routine. People of all ages and sex take up online classes and workshops to learn new skills, crafts, languages and to obtain some kind of education. But let us all be honest, we all, especially Indians, were not entirely prepared for this extreme transition to online workshops and classes and therefore when the time came, most found themselves to be ill-equipped in knowing what to do and what not to in these online sessions.
I am here with a handy guide of do’s and don’ts so that you won’t have to look around or wonder about what to do and what to not to before, during or after an online class/workshop/consultation or session.
In case you didn’t know, I provide an Online Writing Consultation service to help writers who either want to learn something specific or who are stuck in their fiction projects.
Do’s & Don’ts Of Online Workshop or Classes
1. Be Punctual
Make sure to log in 5-10 minutes before the class begins. Open the platform and wait for the instructor or an admin to log in and then join the group/meet.
2. Be Ready
Have your device – laptop or mobile, fully charged and possibly clutter-free (delete the unnecessary files or transfer them to a hard drive) so that it will run smoothly without heating up and won’t hang during your class.
Also, keep a backup device ready, just in case something goes wrong in the middle of the class with your device.
3. Be Presentable
Dress appropriately and be ready to switch on your camera at the last minute notice. Many times in online classes people get into awkward situations when the instructor asks the entire class to switch on their cameras.
Also, make sure to sit in a quiet place. If you have kids or pets at home, then sit in a room where you can shut the door and attend the class without being disturbed or worse disturbing the entire class.
4. Don’t be a ghost
Don’t ghost your online class. If you are late in joining the class then message the instructor personally to let them know that you will be late. It is considered impolite to join the meeting at any time without having previously informed the instructor.
5. Greet everyone and introduce yourself
Many times people forget their most distinguished etiquettes when we attend an online class, take special care not to do it. Imagine going to a physical workshop/class and greet others and introduce yourself just like you wind in an offline class.
6. Don’t take unnecessary breaks
All online classes have breaks in between so try and not take your own breaks because either you’ll end up missing out on some topic or you’ll delay the entire class. A couple of things you can do to prevent such situation are: 1) Go to the restroom just before the class begins so that you can sit comfortably in the class till the official break. 2) Sit with a bottle of water so that you won’t have to get up again and again for it. 3) Sit with a prepared cup of coffee and some light snacks so that you won’t have to get up for anything.
7. Don’t depend on the course notes
Keep a notebook and pen ready for taking down notes throughout the class. The class notes will contain only the most important information but there will be a million small things that the instructor might teach or cover or mention that you might find useful and important. So always take your notes.
8. Be responsive
Respond to the instructor with comments/messages such as ‘yes,’ ‘understood,’ ‘very well,’ etc. It helps the teacher in knowing that everyone is listening and understanding, especially when the cameras are off.
9. Don’t be rude
If you have a doubt or a question, wait for the teacher to finish speaking or explaining a topic and then drop a message saying you have a doubt. The teacher will ask you to ‘unmute’ yourself and ask. If not, then you can ‘unmute’ yourself after a topic is over, and say ‘excuse me sir/mam, I have a doubt/question.’
Don’t interrupt the teacher or the other students when they are talking or clearing doubts.
10. Don’t be distracted during the class
Don’t watch videos, serials or memes in the middle of the class. Be focused!
Remember these things and you’re all set to attend your next online workshop or class.
And don’t forget to wave ‘goodbye’ or say ‘bye and thank you’ before signing off from the class.