Presentation on theme: "How does your story FLOW?. “Sentence fluency is the flow of the language, the sound of word patterns—they way the writing plays to the ear—not just."— Presentation transcript:
How does your story FLOW?
“Sentence fluency is the flow of the language, the sound of word patterns—they way the writing plays to the ear—not just to the eye.” Easy way to check: READ YOUR WRITING OUT LOUD! Does the writing sound natural, or awkward?
Read this paragraph out loud. Do the words flow nicely? The lady was scared. Her eyes were big. The pumpkin was glowing. She held a knife. The pumpkin glowed brighter. She was very confused. What do you notice about this piece of writing? What can the writer do to make this paragraph sound better?
Vary the length of your sentences. When many of your sentences seem to be the same length, it makes your paper sound like it was written by a young child instead of an 8 th grader. When read out loud, it may sound “robotic.”
Read this paragraph out loud. Do the words flow nicely? They lifted the sail. They glided along the railroad tracks and across the misty water. They were eager to get to the mystical city. They felt everything would work out as soon as they got there. What do you notice here? What can the write do to improve this paragraph?
Check the beginnings of your sentences. If you have several sentences that start the same way, mix things up a little. Start a sentence with a transition, or invert your sentence (reverse the subject & predicate). The writer here used good vocabulary, but the beginnings of the sentences sound awkward.
Read this paragraph out loud. Do the words flow nicely? First I heard a loud fog horn blowing and then I heard a crunching noise as bricks were knocked down and then people started screaming and running and I stared up at the big ship and I started to run, too, because I was afraid and I didn’t know what might happen next and I ran faster. Is this paragraph easy to read and comprehend? What should the writer do to improve this paragraph?
This paragraph is one loooong sentence, called a run-on sentence. It is difficult to read and comprehend because the reader doesn’t get any breaks to help them “digest” the story.
Read this paragraph out loud. Do the words flow nicely? Simon paused on the basement steps. Rug rolled in the corner. A light was shining on the little door. Strange noises. Simon listened carefully. Scratch! Doorknob turned. He thought. What is awkward about this paragraph? How can it be revised to make it flow better?
Sentence fragments can be an effective technique in some cases. Here, however, they are randomly used along with complete sentences, and they disrupt the flow of the story. Fragments can often be confusing for the reader.
Now check your story so far. Read it out loud to yourself. Are there awkward spots where the sentences don’t flow well? If so, make revisions to improve your writing.