Eri, did you feel the earthquake that night?
Are you sure your apartment's alright?
In which planet where you when it came?
Is reality and the world you know still the same?*

Satisfied, Erin dropped her pen. Not bad. At least something good had come from the earthquake. Unfortunately, the poem wasn’t helping her to understand the mystery. On the contrary, it did nothing but raise more questions. This had never happened before. She felt as though she was fighting with a mutant vine; the more she cut the more it sprang up again.

Erin continued eating her breakfast...

I put that satisfied there to avoid having two consecutive paragraphs starting with Erin, and the this had never happened... so that the paragraph flows better (a short sentence among many long ones), same with the not bad.

I do this kind of stuff a lot. Is it a bad writing practice?

  • It's a stylistic choice, and I'd hesitate to call it flat-out good or bad. Strictly minimalistic prose is a style popular with some, but it's by no means universally appreciated. As a writer, you should be developing your own personal voice. It looks like you're doing well, in that regard, since you can identify trends in your own writing.
    – lea
    Aug 5 '14 at 10:34
  • @lea cough Hemingway cough
    – Mac Cooper
    Aug 5 '14 at 20:30

Although you are writing prose, not poetry, your text must still have rhythm for it to be pleasant to read. Adding words or rearranging the syntactic structure are good and common ways to create that rhythm. I think, your text reads better with the bold additions.

Rhythm aside, I also think that the additions add meaningful content. Knowing that Erin was satisfied and thought she did well makes her character and her behavior more rich and interesting to me.


I don't agree that the sentences you added are just padding. They have inadvertently given us some insight into the character. The rather bold statement "This had never happened before", tells us something about the character. She is precise and determined and expects positive outcomes. Maybe she has become accustomed to her way of thinking and problem solving but this is different. Now she has a challenge. It's such an insignificant line but I've managed to get a small glimpse of her thought process. It feels as if she is saying the words to herself in frustration. The use of "Not bad" just reinforces this idea.

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