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  1. #1
    Donald Lowery
    Guest

    Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Hey, out there, to those that did and those that did not respond to the long sentence game in previous strings on or about 9-27. I know that those that did respond were either bored, busy, or did not want to send a prize to anyone, and I admit, the prize-sending was not easy to do.

    "Long sentences" may not be a new topic to you, but I am still intrigued with what your thinking might be, since I had to wait a week, until after hurricanes Isadore and Lili passed over and around my house, to get back on this board, and to bring up more focused discussion of why some great authors used long sentences and others did not, and what you might think are the reasons that they used long sentences at all. (I count 80 words and 6 commas in the sentence above)

    And what you might consider (IN NUMBER OF WORDS):

    1. A short sentence that you would use in your work.

    2. An average sentence length

    3. A longer than average sentence, that most readers might not detect as being "long".

    4. A long sentence

    5. A very long sentence that you would never use (minimum word length).

    If you feel so inclined, please add after your word counts, an example of any or all of the above from your own work, especially number 5.

    Then tell my why famous writers used those long sentences. What was their reasoning?

    Look forward to your answers.

  2. #2
    Donald Lowery
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Correction: In my previous note, second sentence, I meant to say--I know that those that did NOT respond...etc.

    My apologies to those that DID respond and gave such great examples of long sentences.

  3. #3
    Ian Barker
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Based mainly on WordPerfect's document properties for my novel:

    1. Shortest Sentence: 1 word (No!)

    2. Average length sentence: 13 words

    3. The longest I found: 49 words (It wore baggy black trousers, with various rents held together by safety pins, and a distressed T-shirt with the word ‘Destroy' crudely painted on the front; a studded leather dog's collar was around its neck; from its head poked a dozen or so short spikes of peroxided blonde hair.)

    4. Longest sentence: 62 words (I'd post it as an example but I can't find it. Which obviously means it doesn't look long on the page!)

    5. Never is a long time. Having recently read a book which had a single sentence stretching 37 pages (yes pages) I don't think I want to limit myself.

    IB

  4. #4
    Yvonne Oots
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Don,
    I will respond to your questionaire later, but the main reason some of the older literary pieces have longer sentences is because they wrote for the ear not the eyes.
    Books were at one time a source of family entertainment and read aloud. Longer sentences, hear better than shorter ones do. If know one believes me record a short passage versuses the longer ones. You will hear the differance.
    Yvonne
    PS. Be back later

  5. #5
    Yvonne Oots
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Don,
    I will respond to your questionaire later, but the main reason some of the older literary pieces have longer sentences is because they wrote for the ear not the eyes.
    Books were at one time a source of family entertainment and read aloud. Longer sentences, hear better than shorter ones do. If know one believes me record a short passage versuses the longer ones. You will hear the differance.
    Yvonne
    PS. Be back later

  6. #6
    Justin Morgan
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    I can make a sentence shorter then "No." How can you do that? Easily I think? And what would my name be? J.

    Average sentence length: 18 - 24 from what I understand.

    Why would some authors make long drawn sentences? Why would some not? And what's the point of an author directly speaking of, or alluding to rule breakers, If he himself does not give a leaving witness to the reader? Of course there is another option - the author could be literary kinky. And this is her way (unless it's a he. And he can write) of foreplay - literary foreplay: according to old rural Japanese shaman lacks nothing in erotica, but lacks all in sexual stimulation. It should not be thought of any traditional sense of sexualism but to be understood in terms of sensual massage of the brain.


    Justin

  7. #7
    Yvonne Oots
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    What the heck happened. sorry for the double posting???????????
    Yvonne

  8. #8
    Donald Lowery
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Ian: Did you like the 37 page sentence? And Who was the author? And why wouldn't you want to set boundaries i.e. limit yourself to some very large arbitrary length? Isn't "never" a good word? Can one trust Word Perfect software?

  9. #9
    Donald Lowery
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Yvonne: Good point, because it is true that when reading a long sentence aloud, it gives one time to hit rhythm and begin to produce feeling, both in the reader and the listener. And it is remembered longer, if written with rhythm and feeling, much like poetry when read aloud. Only the prose sentence is for a different writer, reader, and listener.

    However, I think those famous and great writers wrote for the ear, the eye, and the brain. And Enjoyment. They must have, because everytime I read them I enjoy them. I can't say the same for their contemporaries that make millions of U.S. Dollars.

  10. #10
    Donald Lowery
    Guest

    Re: Very Good, but Long Sentences

    Justin, why does it always come back to sex?

    I do think the great authors want to tell a story like the modern ones, after all, that is our main purpose, however, the authors who wrote very long sentences, loved to write so much, and became privately inspired with their story, that these sentences popped out of their brain, never to be trimmed. Notice, Ian, never.

    The great ones find the journey i.e. writing the sentences, with the words of their choice and length of their choice, most enjoyable to themselves, and as it turns out, to their millions of readers.

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