The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a platform for all writers where we get a chance to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. The group posts the first Wednesday of every month. You are encouraged to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
This sentence has five words…
Did you know that the average shrinkage of sentences in English prose from Elizabethan times to 1900 was from one-half to about roughly one-third? Sentences, like paragraphs, are getting shorter because of changes over time in technology and ways in which we communicate. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that in today's society, people have shorter attention spans, are under the mistaken belief that “I can multi-task”, and, as a result, have gotten too stupid/lazy to process complex thoughts…
Are shorter sentences the way to go? It goes without saying that sentences should vary in structure, size, and shape; that's hard to do if you don't write some long ones.
I do prefer short sentences. They work well. Especially with micro-fiction.
However, I also love the pacing of a well-constructed long sentence, which can be elegant and really effective, without necessarily being too heavy or "flowery"…
Quote: "In general, shorter is better. If you can encapsulate your idea into a single captivating sentence, you're halfway home."—Len Wein
With regards to readable sentences, did you know:
- The easiest sentence to read? 8 words.
- 1-20 words: easy to read.
- 21-25 words: easy to understand.
- 26-29: difficult to follow.
- 30+ words: confusing.
On the scale of 1to 30+ words per sentence, where do you fall more-or-less…? Are you more inclined towards short and snappy sentences? Or long and drawn out ones? What are your thoughts?