If you have read my blog or watched my videos, you will have heard me talk about variety being the spice of life before. Variety can make the difference between a good article and an excellent article. Using variety in your sentences will increase the reader’s interest, aid in comprehension, improve the flow of your ideas, and so on.
How do you vary your sentences?
Sentences by Structure and Purpose
Try to use different sentences by structure: simple, compound, compound-complex, and complex sentences.
Use different sentences by purpose. These include declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative sentences (statement, question, exclamation, and command/request).
Another method to vary your sentences is to use different sentence lengths. Mixing short sentences with longer ones avoids the issues of having choppy sentences or unwieldy sentences that are challenging to read.
Spend time looking at your sentences. You can shorten some of your sentences by splitting compound or compound-complex sentences into two (or more) smaller sentences.
Conversely, simple or complex sentences could occasionally be combined to create longer sentences. Just make sure you follow the rules for combining independent clauses (sentences).
Use Various Sentence Beginnings
One more method is to vary sentence beginnings. This can interest readers by emphasizing an action, mood, or idea.
“Will the driver make the curve?” Justin asked himself as he held his breath.
From across the room, he carefully watched his opponent.
Cautiously, the paramedic applied the cloth bandage.
Wandering through the desert, the boys wished they had not drank all their water.
During your proofreading/editing stage or your revision stage, take a moment to think about your sentences. If you have used the same structures throughout, it is time to make a few changes.
Whatever you do, don’t stress too much. A modest alteration here and there and taking a step-by-step approach to improving the variety of your writing is best. As you become more proficient and confident, these changes will come naturally.
This week’s video – Vary Your Sentences