Make Every Sentence Count

9 Apr

I’m going to start today’s post with a confession:  I am a horrible sister.  As many of you know, I’ve given birthday shout-outs to a few friends via this blog.  However, when my sister hit the quarter-century mark on Saturday, I was too engrossed with listening to my twenty-one-month-old niece recite her ABC’s to mention my little sister’s birth to the blogging community. 

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, LITTLE SISTER!

Alright, now that I’ve redeemed myself, I’d like to post a bit more about my first venture into six-sentence Sunday.

On the drive from West Virginia to Kentucky, I developed a rare bout of seasickness while travelling on winding cow paths (otherwise referred to as highways) as we battled raging winds and vehicles that couldn’t seem to stay on their side of the white lines.  Luckily, the trek was made much shorter by my sister’s fondness for driving slightly above the posted speed limits. 

During the journey, I regaled her with the brilliant half-dozen sentences I had selected for Sunday’s post.  She was enthralled, of course, but inquired as to the purpose of such an exercise.   While I was explaining the obvious reasoning behind Six Sunday, I was struck with an epiphany.

It had taken me over half an hour to edit the chosen sentences for my post (and thirty minutes beforehand to select them).  For those of you who are not mathematicians, that is approximately five minutes of editing per sentence.  When was the last time you edited your manuscript that thoroughly? 

Sentences make up paragraphs; paragraphs make up chapters; chapters make up… well, you get the point.  If  those six sentences had to be flawless for posting, wouldn’t I want my entire manuscript to be just as perfect?  I know at least one writer who is going to be doing a bit more editing in the future.

This also brings to light a second point:  shouldn’t choosing six sentences have been an easier task?  Ideally, every sentence you include in the final copy should be vital to your manuscript—gripping, descriptive, and imperative.  And, if not every single sentence, at least every six.

 (P.S. I am aware that the picture for today’s post is irrelevant :))

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