The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#61

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

A big thank you to our co-hosts for this month’s posting: Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner! Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

A Happy New Year to everybody. Sorry this post is late. The new router that I’d purchased refused to give me connectivity. My internet service provider ruled out the problem from their side, the company who sold me the new router insisted that it was in working order and blamed the ISP for the lack of connectivity. So I was stuck in the middle. It was really frustrating!
Bottom line is, they gave me a refund and I purchased another router from a different company this afternoon AND the owner came and set everything up for me. So I have a new router and a new, hands-on tech guy. A win-win.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest – Hero Lost:
L. Nahay – Breath Between Seconds
Roland Yeomans – Sometimes They Come Back
Elizabeth Seckman – Mind Body Soul
Olga Godim – Captain Bulat
Ellen Jacobson – The Silvering
Erika Beebe – The Wheat Witch
Yvonne Ventresca – The Art of Remaining Bitter
Sean McLachlan – The Witch Bottle
Sarah Foster – The Last Dragon
Renee Cheung – Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight
Tyrean Martinson – Of Words and Swords

And the grand prize winner:
Jen Stanton Chandler – The Mysteries of Death and Life

JANUARY 04th QUESTION: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

“Avoid using fragments or one-word sentences.”
Why not? If used correctly, they add spice to your writing.

According to the rules, every sentence, no matter how short, should contain a subject—or an implied subject—and a verb. A sentence fragment does not contain a subject and a verb. 

The thing is, life is full of fragments, both literally and figuratively.  The verb fragment means to break up, to break into pieces, to cause the loss of unity or cohesion. We experience fragmentation on a daily basis. It’s built into the fabric of our very existence. It’s a moment-to-moment reality.
A glass shatters. Our cellphone signal starts to cut out. A family goes through a divorce. A nation is divided.
Additionally, people speak in fragments. All the time. It’s a natural part of conversation. A fragmented flow.

Fragmented writing has value.
Since fragments are short, they create natural breaks in the rhythm of your writing.
Fragments are conversational and can be quite appealing, a way of sucking the reader into your world.
A sentence fragment sticks out in a sea of complete sentences, so you can use it to emphasize a point.

I love to use fragmented writing because I think it’s part of my voice. A fragment or one word can add punch where a complete sentence might drag the passage down.
If it’s something that is natural and comfortable for the author and it’s used sparingly, then the reader won’t even notice it. But a reminder that this technique may not work for every writer. It also depends on your audience.

 

GOODREADS

 

 

I reached my goal of 50 books on Goodreads last year.
This year I’ve pledged 25 books because I need more time for writing!

 

Do you use fragments or one-word sentences in your writing? What’s your Goodreads pledge for 2017? What genre would you like to see for the next IWSG contest?
I’ll be visiting blogs over the weekend!

16 Comments

  1. Krystal Jane on January 7, 2017 at 5:56 am

    I totally agree about the fragments. I’ve always ignored that school of thought. I love my fragments!

    Way to go on your reading challenge last year! I did 17 books. I’m shooting for a higher number this year, but not too high, you know, because, writing. 🙂 Go get those goals! ^_^

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on January 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I used to write all proper sentences and it wasn’t until I started adding fragments that my writing became more natural and with flow. Fragments happen.
    Not the router huh? Sounds like it was the router all along. Glad you got a working router and someone who knows what he’s doing.

  3. L. Diane Wolfe on January 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Whenever we have Internet issues, it’s always a battle between Earthlink and Time Warner as who’s to blame. No one wants to own up.

    Fragments break up the flow and speed up the pace. They’re needed in writing.

  4. Hilary Melton-Butcher on January 7, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Michelle – good to see you .. and glad the router has connected you .. and yes “a good techie guy to go with the fix” – totally win win … I’m sure I do fragmented all the time – way too many … … …

    But it’s good to give the reader a break to think … and then move on … can see the logic in those fragmented lines … cheers and have a very good 2017 -Hilary

  5. Olga Godim on January 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Interesting post. I don’t often use fragments in my narratives but they are fair game in dialogs. People do talk in fragmented sentences. Adding them to my dialogs makes the conversations more authentic.

  6. Leslie S. Rose on January 8, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Happy New Year, Michelle! I agree that fragments are a useful writing tool. We certainly don’t speak in perfect chains of complete sentences. Fragments add texture and music to our words. BTW I’m glaring at my spotty router even as we speak.

  7. H.R. Sinclair on January 8, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Glad the router problem was taken care of, but sorry you had to deal with the silliness. (What a pain!) Fragments are great! I’ve seen them used with great effect. Happy 2017!

  8. Patricia Lynne on January 8, 2017 at 2:57 am

    I don’t use a lot of one word sentences, but I enjoy fragments. They help with the flow and lend realism since we don’t think or speak in complete fragments in real life.

  9. Carol Kilgore on January 8, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Total believer in fragments!
    Congrats to all the anthology winners. And to you for getting a working router plus a computer guy in the process 🙂

  10. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on January 8, 2017 at 7:40 am

    I love fragment sentences. I think they can work really well in writing and make the reader stop and pause. Sorry about your computer woes, but glad everything is sorted now. I thought technology was supposed to make things easier 😉

  11. Shannon Lawrence on January 8, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I agree. When done right, they have a place. I’ve seen them overused or misplaced, and it’s obvious when that happens, but otherwise, fragment away!

  12. Susan Gourley on January 8, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    I completely agree with you about the fragments. We speak and think in fragments so it feels very natural to write and read that way. Internet problems are the worse, especially when you can’t figure out the problem.

  13. Liesbet on January 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Having to deal with issues in regards to your internet (credit card, bank, other important needs) is so frustrating, especially when they don’t get resolved quickly and all the middle men blame each other. Glad you got it figured out!

    I never took any English literature or writing classes (my native language is Dutch), but I do find it important to not write mistakes when it comes to grammar and spelling (I used to be a teacher and hate reading typos in books on the bestseller’s lists – and elsewhere in print). That being said, I don’t really know about all the other rules and I don’t think they matter that much if you create an attractive piece of literature. Writing a book is an art and we are the creators, who need to be creative to make the work stand out, personal and attractive. I totally agree with you in regards to fragments. They put more life and emotion in the scenes. I am using them in the memoir I am working on and I like the feel and looks of them.

  14. Loni Townsend on January 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I love fragments myself. There are a few that don’t quite work, because it isn’t entirely clear on how they are related to the sentences around them. And then there are a few that get really long, and I get fooled into thinking they’re full sentences, and then I reach the end and they are fragments! But otherwise, I do enjoy fragments and they add a fun punchy aspect to writing.

    Yay for your internet working now (and better hardware and customer service)!

  15. J.H. Moncrieff on January 11, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I do use fragments. Plenty of them. Because awesome. 🙂

    Good thing I’d never heard that writing rule before!

    Sorry to hear about your connectivity issues, but Happy New Year, and thank you so, so much for reviewing my Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave on Goodreads. For some reason, I just saw your review now, and am so incredibly touched and grateful. I won’t forget it. xo

    Speaking of Goodreads, for the past few years, I’ve set my reading challenge at 70 and have beaten it by at least 10 books, so this year I upped the ante and set it at 80. Wish me luck!

  16. Ruchi on January 19, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Hi Michelle, yes, they cannot put a lid on our natural voice. What is writing worth if it doesn’t let us express freely? I do use fragments. I use – ‘Period.’ A lot. See what I did there?
    My goodreads pledge for 2016 was 100 books. I did 33. This year, I am more realistic and have pledged 50 books. Happy reading, and happy 2017!

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