I read something the other day, though, that gave me pause. Go back in time--way, way back--and the whole process of reading and writing began with...a writer!
Some would say this first Writer was the Creator, the primal force of existence: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
God didn't have any trouble saying anything--speech became creation. In the same way, the writer is also a creator, but first the writer has to have something to say. Words have to flow. This flowing, in the field of education, is labeled the higher order thinking skill called fluency: many and diverse ideas.
Each idea is a flowing of consciousness; each flowing is unique. This leads to sentence fluency, the fifth trait of the 6-Traits + 1 program.
If you are a fluent sentence writer, you write sentences that invite being read out loud; they have an easy flow or rhythm. Sentences vary in structure and length in a way that supports the meaning of what you are writing. Transitions between ideas are effective and creative. Depending on the subject and purpose of the writing, sentence fragments or non-standard grammar may be used to create a particular effect. Dialogue, if used, is natural and believable.
All of this cannot be achieved by following a formula. This stuff comes from within, from the wholeness of the creative vision. How can one improve sentence variety and creativity?
- Enrich your creativity. Expand your consciousness. Easily said...and effortlessly done with the Transcendental Meditation technique. Practice TM twice a day for 15-20 minutes, and then forget about it and get on with your writing. TM is a preparation for activity.
- Now that the first Writer has written the Word, read lots of other words. Learn through example.
- Be self-referential. Put writing aside and then come back to it at a later date. Consider the "reader over your shoulder," your audience, as you read your writing again.
- Be a part of a writing community. The perspective of a trusted friend (especially a writing friend) is a valuable asset.
- Consider your purpose for writing. Simply saying "Fire!" is appropriate if the blaze is roaring.
Copyright 2009 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved