An Exercise in Sentence Length

January 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm 1 comment

: Steering the Craft, Exercise 3 – Part I: Write a paragraph (I cheated on this part) of narrative in sentences of seven or fewer words. Subject, verb required. No fragments.

What I’m learning so far: the exercises alter my writing, my thought process, my comfortable style. They stretch my brain. Who knew that could happen?
I usually give myself a time limit — kind of the ‘just do it’ mentality; just do it in 15, 20 or 30 minutes and see what happens.

Short Sentences — © Sue Black January 18, 2010

It started with a phone call. It started with a phone call missed. “I’d like to chat with you.” She heard the doctor’s soothing voice. “
No doctor calls to chat,” she thought. This can’t be good. “Honey, this can’t be good.”
“Don’t worry,” he reassured. And so she didn’t worry. She didn’t hurry to return the call.
It was Friday. The long weekend beckoned. Only one more thing needed doing. Then she would be free to enjoy it. She called. “I’m so sorry. I hate to tell you this. It is cancer.” She does not speak. She cannot speak. Instead she listens to foreign words. She hears surgery, oncology, and hysterectomy. She hears stages, chemotherapy, and radiation. “Come see me next week,” he says. “For now, don’t worry.”
But she does. She worries. She googles her worries. She does not cry. To cry would be to accept. To accept would be to believe. To believe would bring the telling. To tell would hurt them. They will worry. They will cry.
So she is quiet, for now. She sits alone and quiet. And no one hurts.

: This one was a challenge; I wanted to be wordier than allowed. Give it a try and post in the comments.

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Entry filed under: Steering the Craft_Writing Exercises.

An Exercise in No Punctuation An Exercise in Sentence Length — Going Long

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