When to Break the Rules

Dear Miggie,

Heard from someone that writing sentences in fragments is aokay. Supposed to be skinny sentences. Thought it would add more emphasis. Did, I think. Anyway, feels good. Feels right even. You think?


Mr. Skinny


Dear Mr. Skinny, 

Truly, no. 

Amend that. Emphasis, yes. Too skinny, no. Once in a while, aokay. Every sentence, or even every other sentence, I don’t think. 

Breaking even one rule, such as writing complete sentences, cannot be done with impunity. As I’ve already stated in my article “Us Writers Don’t Need No Rules,” newbie writers who break the rules can come across as ignorant. That’s a good way to lose potential readers. You have to master a rule before you can comfortably and safely break it. 

Writing a fragment, once in a while, can lend emphasis to what you’re trying to say. But writing fragments too often is almost guaranteed to cause you to lose credibility. Since newbies don’t have any credibility to start with, they most certainly can’t afford to lose any they may be building up. Show readers that you truly understand your craft. Then, maybe, you can play around with “bending” occasional rules. 

And if you don’t understand your craft, get a job and stop pestering me.

Okay with that? Whatever!! 

P.S. My name is  Maggie. Not Miggie. Not Moggie. Not Muggie. But MAGGIE!!! Excuse me while I throw up a hairball.



About aakemp

I am a fiction writer and freelance writer/proofreader with excellent research abilities as well. What I offer is high quality writing done in a smooth, logically consistent and error-free manner. No fluff ever with my writing! Just intelligent, interesting copy. My novels include the young adult fantasy, "The Dragons of Atlantis" and the thriller/mystery, "Beneath the Smoke," available on Amazon's Kindle program. Also "The Dragons of Atlantis" is available on OffTheBookshelf.com as an ebook or hard copy.
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