Thank you to everyone who’s already ordered Dwr, and to those who have started (or finished) reading! You are all such a blessing to me, and I’m so happy to get to share this next episode in the Druid Novels with you!
This week, we’re getting back into our series. Fortunately for you, it doesn’t take me long to get back into the groove with things like this. So let’s just jump right in…
Why do we need…
Yes, yes, I know, your teachers in school probably all taught you that fragments are of the devil and must be purged from all writing. I know. I was taught that, too. Fragments were to be avoided at all costs, and I do very nearly mean all costs. But you know what? It’s not as big a deal now as it used to be. And you know what else? We’re talking about fiction and nonfiction novel and short story writing, not academia. So, deal with it.
From the point of view of a reader…
I’ll admit it. Fragments can be annoying, if they’re everywhere in a text. But I’ll also be the first one to admit that because fragments automatically draw attention to them (due to the fact that we all had it drilled into our brains that they are to be avoided), they can be a really cool way for a writer to get a message off to a reader, without being too obvious. It’s actually one of my favorite things for authors to do, to draw attention to certain details, or to highlight that these sentences are people’s thoughts.
From the point of view of a writer…
I’m going to focus on first person narratives here, because I write them all the time. You know me, there’s nearly always at least one. Okay, so when we’re writing in first person, it really doesn’t make sense to use complete sentences all the time. There should be varying sentences, between complete, fragment, and run-on. Why? Because then it’ll read like we think. After all, how many of us actually think in complete sentences? Not a whole lot, I’ll tell you. Most of us, most of the time, think a lot of fragments. You'll notice it once you start to think about it.
From the point of view of an editor…
I want to see that you know what you’re doing with your sentence structures. So, for the most part, yeah, I want you to use complete sentences. But I’d like to see you vary it a little bit. Play around with the structures, throw in some fragments, but I really want to see you do it for a reason. Don’t just give me a fragment because you couldn’t think of the end to the sentence. Give me a fragment because it’s all the sentence that it needs to be. Otherwise, I’ll have to cut it. And that gets a little annoying, if it happens a lot.
The moral of the story?
Fragments might not be as bad as you were led to believe.