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Weekend Assignment: The Long and Short of It

This weekend’s writing prompt comes from the National Writing Project. I found this article by Kim Stafford while researching another writing topic and after reading, found myself inspired to use it as an assignment about sentence length.

This project will have you studying the lengths of your sentences, as well as exploring ways to make them longer (in the case of part 1) or shorter (part 2). Why should you care? Writing made up of all short sentences tends to feel “choppy,” while works made up of all long sentences leave a reader breathless should they try to read aloud. Stafford’s approach invites writers to explore the ins and outs of long and short sentences, and examine how length affects the flow and pace of a piece.

Here is your two-part writing mission for the week.

Part one from Stafford’s article:

“…compose a sentence that goes on for at least a page—and no fair cheating with a semicolon. Just use “and” when you have to, or a dash, or make a list, and keep it going. After your years of being told not to, take pleasure in writing the greatest run-on sentence you can.”

And part two from the same article:

“…take a blank page, and write from the upper left to the lower right corner again, but this time letting no sentence be longer than four words (but every sentence must have a subject and a verb).”

The Show and Tell Challenge

Step right up and take the B&B Show and Tell Challenge! Here’s how: simply write your response to this assignment, post it on your blog, then come back and leave a link to your post in the comments. It’s that simple!

Need more inspiration? Click here.

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