Fragments of (non) sense

Woe is me. Even my illustrator, the inimitable Amy, thinks I cannot write. “You use too many sentence fragments!” she scolds. “Try not to begin sentences with ‘and’ or ‘but'”.

But Amy! We don’t speak in complete sentences. Must I write in complete sentences? I don’t want to. And I will not. So there!

Of course, I don’t say this to her. I want her to be proud of this book. My (complete or incomplete) sentences, and her weirdly beautiful illustrations. Scowling, I scan the pages of my manuscript for yet another edit.

Gah! It’s midnight and if there were any owls, they would be hooting. Can anyone tell me why it’s still snowing in mid-April? (Answer: Because you are in Newfoundland, duh.)

I don’t want this to be a rant on the weather, though. Or about my sentence structure. What I really wanted to say was that I am re-reading ‘The Hobbit’. What a great story. And it’s a lot of ‘telling’, not ‘showing’. Tolkien tells us everything, and we listen, entranced, because it works. Even the head-hopping works. I don’t know how he does it.

I’m going to (guiltily) leave my manuscript aside for a bit, and read about the wicked and wily dragon Smaug and how Bilbo outwits him to find the chink in his armor. What fun to have POV from a dragon! How many writers can get away with that?

About Rati Mehrotra

Science fiction and fantasy writer. I blog at: ratiwrites.com Thanks for dropping by!
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8 Responses to Fragments of (non) sense

  1. I hate to be the one to break it to you Rati, but here in Newfoundland, we can get snow in June. πŸ™‚

  2. Amy Goh says:

    Hey! It is me, Amy πŸ™‚ Your post made me laugh (and feel very bad)! I want to encourage you to carry on editing once you feel the strength to do so again! I know how intimidating it is, and how easily it is to be discouraged. The manuscript is strongly driven and contains a well-developed world, and would benefit from that extra of effort of editing greatly. Read some lovely fiction (I highly recommend the Riddlemaster trilogy for beautiful language and plot, and the Tomb Earthsea book, because it reminds me of yours), take a break, let it breathe, then get back to it πŸ™‚
    (PS: It also snows here in Montreal in April. You are not alone)

  3. Hi Rati! The English language is very flexible. Beware of “rules” such as “Don’t start a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ or “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.” These are NOT rules! They are someone’s idea of correct style, and there are a million opinions on such matters. As for sentence fragments — again, there’s no rule against them. Here’s a recent, very good article by a brilliant editorial colleague of mine on that topic. http://theweek.com/article/index/242848/its-totally-okay-to-write-incomplete-sentences Yes, of course you don’t want too many fragments or they lose their effectiveness: style involves balance too. You write well, so write on!

  4. But… Why not?
    And we make our own rules.
    Yes…

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