Bear in mind, when you are choosing words and stringing them together, how they sound.This may seem absurd: readers read wit h their eyes. But actually they hear what they are reading - in their inner ear - far more than you realize. Therefore such matters as rhythm and alliteration are vital to every sentence.
Such considerations of sound and rhythm should be woven through every aspect of what you write. If all your sentences move at the same plodding gait, which even you recognize but don't know how to cure, read them aloud. You will begin to hear where the trouble lies.
Cadence and rhythm play such a large role in how a reader responds to writing. As a composition teacher, I work hard to teach my students the weaponry of punctuation and simple sentences. Yes, weaponry.
The right punctuation or a well-placed fragment or simple sentence can pack quite a punch. It is also true of effective - and clearly deliberate - experimental punctuation. Check out the first chapter of Carolyn Coman's book, What Jamie Saw. Phenomenal. She uses sentence length and unusual punctuation to build amazing tension in her first pages. Each time I read the beginning, I swear I can almost FEEL my heart-rate elevate and my pulse quicken!
And don't forget the no-fail pleasure of alliteration, consonance, and power verbs!
Remember, then, that words are the only tools that you will be given. Learn to use them with originality and care. Value them for their strength and their infinite diversity. And remember: somebody out there is listening. (Zinsser)What favorite word tricks are hiding in your writer's tool kit?