“Stop Boredom! Vary the Beginnings of Your Sentences” by Joan Y. Edwards
Vary the beginnings of your sentences to incite interest and keep boredom from putting your readers to sleep. First, I’ll explain the different parts of speech. Then I will give you two writing exercises. I hope you enjoy them. I’ll do them, too. We’ll compare notes in the comment area.
Parts of Speech:
name of person, place, or thing: Jacob, Denver, stapler.
word used that refers to an earlier mentioned person, place, or thing. He, she, it, we, you, they, them, etc.
action word or state of being
description of noun or pronoun
Adjectives are describing words: Jane wore a yellow scarf. She needed a heavy jacket.
The words – a, an, the – are special adjectives called articles. Articles are words that determine whether the noun following it is a certain, definite noun or an indefinite one, meaning any, not a specific one.
For example: There is a book on the table. She is an angel. Jacob is the winner.
states that a preposition is a connecting word that shows the relationship of a noun or a noun substitute to another word in the sentence. Here are nine most used prepositions: at, by, for, from, in, of, on, to, with. Here are others: about, after, along, around, beside, between, over, through, under, up
Many phrases that explain which, where, when, why, or how use prepositions.
The girl with the feather stood up. (Which girl? The girl with the feather)
He went to the party. (Where did he go? to the party)
The team played with great vigor. (How did the team play? with great vigor)
The players drank plenty of water after the game,. (When did they drink plenty of water? after the game)
Jacob ran for shelter. (Why did Jacob run? for shelter)
word that describes a verb by answering the question when, where, why, how, and under what conditions something happened or happens. Many adverbs end in -ly.
Jacob raced the car yesterday. (When did Jacob race the car? Yesterday)
The student walked here. (Where did the student walk? Here)
Jacob drove fast. (How did Jacob drive? fast)
Cecilia planted grass to stop erosion. (Why did Cecilia plant seeds? to stop erosion. This is an infinitive adverbial phrase that answers the question why?)
is a word that joins or connects parts of a sentence: words to words, phrases to phrases, or clauses to clauses. Here are examples of coordinating conjunctions that join parts of sentences that are the same: and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet
Subordinating conjunctions that join dependent clauses to independent clauses are: after, although, as, as if, as long as, as though, because, before, even if, even though, if, if only, in order that, now that, once, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, till, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, while.
Info about conjunctions:
is a word set apart from the rest of the sentence with an exclamation point that shows great emotion and/or excitement: aha, bravo, drats, eek, fiddlesticks, gee whiz, ha ha, oh dear, uh oh, wow, yippee.
Editors frown on using a lot of interjections. Keep the numbers down.
List of Interjections: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/wordlist/interjections.shtml
Another list of interjections: http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/list-of-interjections.html
WRITING EXERCISE 1:
What part of speech begin most of your sentences?
Many of us begin most of our sentences the same way. Sometimes we do it for effect. Other times, we may be focusing on the plot and not in the sentence structure. Here is an exercise to help you practice beginning sentences that are related in paragraph format.
Print this blog post.
Now that you know what the parts of speech are, copy and print page 3 of your manuscript, page 30 or 100 of the same or a different manuscript. After you do the WRITING EXERCISE 2 today, place a tally mark in the column for the part of speech that begins your sentences. I included adjectives and articles separately, because I believe many times we start too many sentences with articles.
Parts of Speech
|Writing Samplespart of speech for beginning of each sentence.||Page 3 novelor all pages of picture book||Page 30 or 100or all pages of picture book||20 Random Words Writing exercise|
WRITING EXERCISE 2:
Use the 20 words below in a story. Write a new story, use characters from a work in progress, or use a character from your favorite book. 16 words that can be used as nouns, 8 words that can be used as verbs. 6 words that can be used as adjectives. Several can be used as both nouns and verbs; others can be used as both nouns and adjectives.
Set the timer for 20 minutes. Write your story using as many of these 20 words as possible..
At the end of 20 minutes. Read what you have written. Were you able to use most of the words. Tally the number of the part of speech that begins each sentence in the chart you printed out.
I’ll bet the beginning of your sentences varied more because you were more aware it. If not, it’s a great way to incorporate a list of random words in a story. I hope you will realize that using a random set of words can bring on a creative flow of juices, you never thought you had.
If you vary the beginnings of your sentences, you insight interest and keep boredom from putting your readers to sleep.
Please share what you wrote in the WRITING EXERCISE 2 using 20 random words. I’ll bet that your tally marks show that you already do a good job of varying the beginning of sentences to keep your readers awake and engaged. Awesome!
Write. Write. Write.
Never Give Up
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards
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- Purdue University: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/730/1/
- Parts of Speech (absweetsour.wordpress.com)