An Exercise in Sentence Length — Going Long

February 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

: Steering the Craft, Exercise 3 – Part 2: Going Long
Write a half page to a page of narrative (up to 350 words) that is all one sentence.
This was really fun!! The details that emerged just blew me away. I used sentences from my Molly McVee story (posted earlier) and recrafted the scene into a single sentence.

Original scene from my story:
Henry had tipped his hat to Auntie Agnes when he walked in. He tipped his hat and smiled at me when I set his stew and whiskey in front of him. But he didn’t say a word, not until he had finished with his stew and a couple of swigs of whiskey. By then the other miners had gone on home.

My ‘Going Long’ Sentence:
Henry walked in, tipped his hat toward Auntie Agnes before taking it off and walked to a scarred table in the corner, worrying the brim of his hat the whole way (a new hat it looked to me) and then he set it down on the corner of the table, out of the way of the big bowl of carrots and potatoes swimming in brown gravy, out of the way of the glass of rot-gut whiskey every miner got when he walked thru the front door of the Stony Pass Inn; Henry walked in without saying a word to any of the other miners and didn’t even lift his lips when Auntie Agnes called out with her huge smilin’, just-for-the-miners greeting – “Henry Dawson ain’t this just the best surprise I’ve had in a long time!” – instead he set himself down in that rickety chair in the corner, the one facin’ the kitchen door, and stared at me from head to toe while I hurried back and forth thru the kitchen door with stew and whiskey and warm bread all so’s the miners would be happy, start orderin’ more whiskey, and Auntie Agnes wouldn’t scold me for a slow night collectin’ coins from those miners.


Entry filed under: Steering the Craft_Writing Exercises.

An Exercise in Sentence Length An Exercise in Sentence Length — Going Long Again

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