Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Writing Exercise -- Challenge?

   
Author Topic: Writing Exercise -- Challenge?
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A writing exercise prompts to write a sensible and grammatically "correct" hundred word sentence. One hundred words is close to a thirteen-line challenge for word count. Anyone interested in a thirteen-line, one-sentence challenge?

One tip, stream-of-conscious methods generally apply to long complex-compound sentences and are of a single distinguishable idea as are simple sentences. Colons, semicolons, dashes, and, of course, commas break a long sentence into manageable clauses and phrases, for readers to timely catch a breath. One other tip, limited prepositions are a best practice, as they slow reading down, as do long noun and adjective phrases, which prepositional phrases are. Robust verbs and adverbial phrases read smoother and faster. Conjunction terms, subordination phrases and clauses, too, especially contradiction conjunctions, like but, though, and however, also bump and slow reading.

The benefits of the exercise are probably now apparent; that is, composing robust and dynamic voice sentences, regardless of length, through stretching mental muscles.

Posts: 5161 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The impediment of my current grasp of grammar may not be up to the task, however, why not attempt to break through such a self developed failing born of being the unfortunate, long suffering student in the middle of a change of desired educational outcomes that have deprived me of the necessary groundwork development which, when thrown upon the eagerly awaiting juvenile mind, firmly takes root and flowers, bringing forth upon those now placid waters understanding that I would have, could have, carried forwards with me in my developing writing career.

Help! Is that close to 100 words? Not that I'm trying, of course.

Phil.

Posts: 1605 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nine lines Standard Manuscript Format, ninety-one words counted. A few discretionary punctuation considerations for more robust composition; otherwise, mostly grammatically correct -- a few discretionary, unnecessary tense shifts.

Of special note -- the focal idea entails a tangible dramatic complication struggle: to write more persuasively, and a moral struggle, intangible though strongly and clearly implied; that is, sloth-diligence, and an outcome, an implied though pendent decision to be more grammatically diligent. A dramatically complete, stream-of-consciousness, long complex-compound sentence composed in a three-act structure.

[ April 21, 2015, 04:34 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5161 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And written off the cuff and on the fly. Sometimes I surprise myself. It's also self-pitying--and true. The English curriculum in Australia changed at about the time I started English Lit and Composition in grade seven.

Phil.

Posts: 1605 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I encountered a similar English instruction paradigm shift at roughly the same age, though due to a change from private schools to public schools. Guess which one short-shrifted self-discipline at the favor of creative self-worth and a hidden agenda, sink or swim social stratification mentality.
Posts: 5161 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkr
Member
Member # 10397

 - posted      Profile for dkr           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In the five years following his father’s tearful goodbye the brutal nature of these morally impotent men descended upon Ian and they continued what they had perpetrated upon the father, their malevolence not sufficiently satiated because the preferred target had vanished, and those so-called men who once broke bread with and raised crystal snifters of excellent brandy to toast his father visited their greatest jealousies upon the young man, for his father was greater of mind and stature than the lot of them combined, and anger and hate boiled in their pitiful souls without relent.

there it is fellas... 95 words.

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Strong expression and narrator attitude, dkr. A punctuation consideration here and there: a few commas warranted, or dash, semicolon, and colon, too. The sentence completes a dramatic arc -- artful writing.
Posts: 5161 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkr
Member
Member # 10397

 - posted      Profile for dkr           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks extrinsic - My biggest shortfall is still the correct understanding/knowledge of all the punctuation rules. My editor says I am 'comma-challenged'. It is well past time for me to bring that aspect up to par.

This excerpt is from a stream of thought rendering of the back-story I am writing to setup the MC's history. It was originally two sentences I reworked to meet the challenge criteria.

I find it interesting that A. Dumas opens The Vicomte de Bragelonne with a sentence that is 107 words and a stack of commas. Melville holds the record in my purview at 369 words in one sentence. It is rougly two-thirds into Moby Dick.

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2015  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Let's not forget: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, a time . . ..

Phil.

Posts: 1605 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The curlicue stroke, the workhorse comma, has near a hundred "rules" for its usage. Of course, I know every one and that is of limited utility next to its singular function of separation, such that readers pause where a convenient breath pause can be taken.

For punctuations' pragmatic functions, a grammar handbook is best practice and most comprehensive; though a style manual, like The Chicago Manual of Style, the most common U.S. prose publisher house style, will serve and is more economical. The Little, Brown Grammar Handbook runs about $150; Chicago, about $45 new. Words into Type is about $60, and the house style generally used by fantastical fiction publishers -- magazine and book -- though more in line with journalism style than prose.

For punctuations' aesthetic functions, Noah Lukeman's A Dash of Style is the gold standard and economical for its focus on punctuation usage -- about $15.

Longest sentence I've read is, of course, by David Foster Wallace: "Death Is Not the End." 946-word short story from the collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. The first sentence is 722 words; second sentence, 15 words; third sentence, 29 words; last sentence, 180 words. Lukeman's aesthetic punctuation guidance next to Wallace's use thereof is a productive learning method. The Wallace text at the New York Times "Death Is Not the End."

[ May 02, 2015, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5161 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2