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One Sentence Per Idea

Now as easy as it is to break up overly complicated sentences into their component parts, it is just as hard to bring together all of your component parts into just one sentence. In other words, each sentence in your manuscript should further one discrete idea. Once that idea has been exhausted, you move on to the next idea to advance the plot.

Again, I'm going to work through yet another sentence from my current manuscript so you can see what I mean. I was advised over and over again to end run on sentences, as such, I frequently end up with fragmented sentence that repeat the same idea only adding a tiny new detail. Don't go crazy adding long sentences, learning to craft a good one takes a lot of practice. They should be used sparingly and strategically. Modern writing favors the snappy short sentence, but the ability to write a good, long sentence will help you land attention from agents and publishers.

Westbrook returned with a small tray of coffee. He passed them around. …

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One Idea Per Sentence

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