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1. READ A LOT I agree with @Cloudchaser that writing is a craft you have to practise. You should absolutely read these books that have been recommended to you. Read as many as you can on the craft of writing and if blogging is your thing, analyse the style of other successful blogs. 2. DON'T EXPECT TO GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME But no amount of reading will ...


8

I think it largely depends on what kind of "children's book" we're talking about. If this is a book for teenagers (or even "tweenagers"), then it is an excellent way to convey a feeling of restlessness or stress. If we're talking about younger audiences, it might be dangerous simply because the sentences could be confusing to the reader, invoking in them ...


8

How many commas? Instinctively you have too many, but you are using most correctly. The comma before 'but' is only appropriate if 'but' begins an independent clause or if there is another dependent clause that you are setting off. In your example a case can be made for all the commas (except potentially the last, and perhaps also the comma preceding 'as'...


8

"Now it's time to talk about..." "Next we will cover..." "We talked about..." However, I would suggest that such variation may be unnecessary, especially in a technical context. Consistency and repetition can help with clarity; if you always start with "In this chapter we...", then your readers will be familiar with that phrase. By using the same phrases ...


7

In terms of the most basic elements of good writing style, the classic text is called Strunk and White (after its authors). After you master that, I would graduate to Samuel Delany's About Writing. As one of the best writers alive, it's true that much of Delany's writing instructions are abstract, high-level and obscure. His technical advice, however, is ...


7

If I understand the problem correctly, I think what you want to be doing is vary the subject of your sentences. Look at this example: John walked out of the office. He observed the sky turning grey, and then felt cold rain landing on him. He opened his umbrella. Now this: John walked out of his office. The sky above was rapidly turning grey. Cold ...


6

No! Absolutely forbidden! The Rule Book XVII of the Writers Inquisition explicitly forbids under pains of corporal punishment!! Just kidding. That's a pretty standard, rather nice form. I usually use ellipsis where you used em-dash, but both are acceptable (and some use a colon, it's acceptable there too.) There are a few mild typos/mistakes ( "it was ...


6

There are a lot of non-obvious elements to writing that once you understand them and begin to work on them, can make a huge impact on the impressions that readers get from your writing. There is a type of writing which usually focuses very much on these subconscious but still important elements, and that is poetry. The elements include: Meter (which might ...


6

Run on sentences are sentences without a pause. No place to take a breath. By using what might otherwise be a run on sentence as free verse poetry, you are creating those pauses. You have some commas in there, which always helps, but it's the line breaks that really give you a place to breathe. Commas alone (or commas plus dashes and semi-colons) aren't ...


6

Welcome to the exchange. To my way of thinking, you need to expand the sequence out because as it stands you are listing a series of events and symptoms of the characters. There is no reaction, no interplay, no emotion. Add in a snatch of dialog and some emotional cues, also internal thoughts and a few actions. These things will draw the reader in to ...


5

No. They are often left off, if the context makes it clear who is talking. If I only have Mike and Nancy in a scene: "I had ice cream at lunch," Mike said. "I thought we agreed we would have it together?" "I just forgot." "Okay," Nancy said, "Thanks for thinking about me." Typically don't go too far without attributions, no more than two ...


5

Adverbs are not popular in modern writing, but one area where they are essential is in character development. If you are trying to present a character as effusive and excessively generous in their praise of others, you need to pepper that character's dialog with amplifying adverbs. A very striking distinction can be created when your narrator abstains ...


5

While it is a useful tool when parsing it, such a construct damages the natural flow of prose. You say it makes it more clear, but I see something that seems forced, convoluted and distracting. He is showing how each clause has a purpose, adding description or action, improving the sense of place. I suspect he would be horrified if someone started writing a ...


5

Why do writers add unnecessary commas to sentences just because they're long? While it's true that some writers, maddeningly, do not use sufficient punctuation, it's also the case that some people add punctuation when it's not necessary. Finding that sweet spot is what we all want, but we have different ideas of how to get there. A comma represents a ...


5

There's no point of view here, which makes it difficult to care about, or even follow. (That's also probably why you initially confused the characters.) It's just a series of events. You don't have to have a point of view character, but you need to have a point of view. I'd try writing three versions of this. One from Thomas' POV, one from Daniel's, and ...


5

Eliminate superfluous words; you are saying things with too many words. To demonstrate such a transformation, I will take your first line through stages: I strongly believe that such type of dieting as vegetarianism should be pursued by everybody, I strongly believe diets like vegetarianism should be pursued by everybody, I strongly believe ...


4

I'd have to see these excerpts in context of her thoughts in other situations, but I think if you're doing it deliberately to mimic her feelings and thoughts, it's fine. It feels like nervous-energy stream-of-consciousness, and if that's what you're aiming for, you have it down nicely. If you're trying for a slightly silly book, I'd even ramp it up a bit ...


4

Young narrators often think, and string their sentences together, paratactically -- short independent clauses joined by conjunctions: We went to the zoo and we saw a lion and then we saw a monkey and the monkey threw some bananas at the people and we thought it was funny but then he ran at the bars and screamed and I was scared . . . " That's a pretty ...


4

The ordering of your words, phrases, and sentences changes the rhythm of the work. When you read your piece aloud you might notice that "of course" sounds better in one place or another, or deleted altogether. (I'll confess to moving a phrase back and forth in a sentence from revision to revision depending on mood.)


4

Einstein's Razor. This is an opinion question. I write as simply as I can; but I also have a large vocabulary and I am a huge fan of word etymology (origins and derivations), and I detect or feel very subtle variations in what similar words mean or imply. This means I am often searching for exactly the right word. I won't choose a common word, like "sad", ...


4

Although I think its a good idea to be inspired by successful writers of the past and present, I would caution against writing "like" any of them. As you fear, you run the risk of sounding dated, but worst yet, like a soul-less copy cat. You've brought up two very different types of writers. Specifically, Hemingway, one whose work has been critically ...


4

One additional answer that I'd suggest is emulate, or at least analyze, the writing of writers you admire. Figure out what it is about their style that you like (and dislike), and then try to incorporate those positive elements into your own writing, for both fiction and non-fiction.


4

The reason long sentences are possible is because languages are recursive; see here for examples of how this builds long sentences by substitution. Take some long sentences you have access to and work out how they could be built up in this way, and you'll soon have the hang of it yourself. If all your sentences are short, occasionally weaving together the ...


4

Prf. Brooks Landon does not suggest to actually write that way but uses indention to highlight different sentence structures and how they impact the flow of reading. He does not actually propose to indent in prose text but uses it as a tool to analyze the sentences. Read the first little introduction of your snippet: We can easily see the movement of this ...


4

Sometimes a longer sentence improves the flow of the prose. Rules are there to guide us. We were all taught to be terse, keeping our sentences short. Then you read a masterpiece and see a paragraph that is one sentence. (That sentence would probably flow better if I just wrote it thusly ‘We are all taught to be terse, keeping our sentences short; then you ...


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