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21

Short sentences are short. Simple. They don't tend to be that complicated. They're easy to understand. Yes, the period is something that makes people stop. But when you have many separate phrases that are easily swallowed, the reader doesn't have to spend too much time trying to comprehend them. They read easily and therefore quickly. Personally, I would ...


4

This is a tricky one, as the advice would usually be "write however feels natural to you". But I want to help, so I'll try. Writing, by its nature, is an art. It's subjective - especially when we're talking about a "style". A style isn't always quantifiable, like grammar for example. Style is nuanced and ambiguous, often difficult to put ...


3

Start two chapters early If it takes you a couple of chapters to get into the flow of writing, then start writing two or three chapters before where you plan on opening your story. These chapters aren't ever going to be seen by the readers - they're purely for your own writerly benefit. After you've finished your story then go back and cut the chapters in ...


3

Voice is highly individual --it's a large part of what makes your writing distinct, so there aren't really any rule-based ways to develop it. In fact, many of the strongest writers' voices break rules that are ironclad for other people. I would recommend finding some writers whose voice you admire, and writing some pieces in imitation of them --not for ...


2

The first thing to note is that making prose style sound too much like poetry doesn't make it sound right. It still has to sound like prose. What I found useful was not so much consciously attending to the style structure as reading great stylists and writing imitations of them. Often horrendously bad imitations, but it helped master getting the words to ...


2

It's not short sentences per se that speed up reading, but simple grammatical (and logical) structure. This can appear in long sentences, and it may in fact read a bit faster than short sentences. (you don't actually stop for a few seconds at every period though, unless you failed to understand the previous sentence. Either way, the same stopping will still ...


2

Usually, that is left for the imagination of the reader. You might want to avoid misspelling on purpose. You can swap the order of the speech and its description. Doing this you can prime the reader to "hear" the dialogue in a different light: He sung the words, dragging out his L's, "Looking and looking... In all the wrong places." Since your second ...


2

Purely as a reader, I think your second, misspelled version is much better. It's as brief and as precise as possible. It's not unusual for dialogue to be improperly spelled to represent accents or other speech patterns; you are probably familiar with the pattern of writing -ing as -in'.


1

Because it's not so much about how long it takes you to read the paragraph, nor the length of the pause between sentences that gives the impression of speed. It's the burst. The start and stop, the chop-and-change. It jumps about; darting from place to place. Your reach the finish, now. Then it happens again. Compare a car with a housefly: You sit in ...


1

I used mostly short sentences in a novel draft once. It seemed right. Mostly. It was easy to read, but something seemed off. I couldn't tell what it was in the first place. But after a while I realized: part of the tension lingering above the whole story, above every scene and conversation came from the short sentences. Because somehow I tended to synch my ...


1

Usually people use shorter sentences to build tension. People often read it out faster to make it even more tensiony (don't question my sources). If you want to use short sentences and not have it read aloud faster, put a really long sentence in the middle. I can guarantee people will then read it slower after that.


1

If you want to place particular emphasis on a word in a piece of dialogue, you can use italics: "Looking and looking... in all the wrong places." There is also a convention - though admittedly, mostly in visual novels and roleplays - to put a tilde at the end of a sentence in place of a full stop or exclamation mark, to indicate a more playful or sing-...


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