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50 Tools For Writing.

I Stumble!d upon lifehack.org today. Great tips on writing technique. Quoting some snippets.

Tool 1: Branch to the Right

Begin sentences with subjects and verbs, letting subordinate elements branch to the right. Even a long, long sentence can be clear and powerful when the subject and verb make meaning early. Now imagine this: A reporter writes a lead sentence with subject and verb at the beginning, followed by other subordinate elements, creating what scholars call a “right-branching sentence.”

Here’s a right-branching sentence, from a news story in The New York Times:

Rebels seized control of Cap Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city, on Sunday, meeting little resistance as hundreds of residents cheered, burned the police station, plundered food from port warehouses and looted the airport, which was quickly closed. Police officers and armed supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled.

That first sentence is 37 words long and rippling with action. The sentence is so full, in fact, that it threatens to fly apart like some overheated engine. But the writer keeps control by creating meaning in the first three words: “Rebels seized control…” Think of that main clause as the locomotive that pulls all the cars that follow.

Contrast this with the sentence below :

A bill that would exclude tax income from the assessed value of new homes from the state education funding formula could mean a loss of revenue for Chesapeake County schools.

Eighteen words separate the subject “bill” from its weak verb “could mean,”. A fatal flaw that turns what could be an important civic story into gibberish.

If the writer wants to create suspense, or build tension, or make the reader wait and wonder, or join a journey of discovery, or hold on for dear life, she can save the verb until the end.

Writer's Toolbox

This is the only tip I looked into. Rest are marked for _future-leisure-reading_ :-)

Well, following this tip, I’ll rephrase as below:

I looked only into this tip. Marking the rest for _future-leisure-reading_

I know, it doesn’t make much sence for short sentences :-)

What do u think?

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