Sentence Fragments Are Okay
Forget what your high school English teacher told you about them. Right now.
Sentence fragments are great. They add impact. Create rhythm. Build excitement.
Of course, like anything else, they can be overused. Become tedious. Annoying even.
Still, they lend a certain punch, and we can make most writing more interesting with the occasional fragment. So don't hesitate to use them when you want to underscore a point or catch your readers' attention.
First, Kill All the Adverbs
Search your long form for words ending in -ly. Delete them. I'm not kidding:
She walked quickly to the stove and unceremoniously lifted the lid from the boiling pot.
It's laden with adverbs. Instead, write:
She hurried to the stove and snatched the lid from the boiling pot.
The trick to eliminating adverbs is to think about why you're tempted to use one and then find an alternative. The usual reason is to enhance your verb. But it's better to simply select a more vivid verb.
For example, in the passage above, the original verbs were walked and lifted. I added the adverbs quickly and unceremoniously to try to bring life to these listless verbs. But substituting the vivid verbs hurried and snatched solved the problem without all the clutter.English has a wealth of verbs, with a nearly infinite variety of subtle shadings of meaning. So choose your verbs carefully, and you'll never need an adverb.
Make sure your adjectives aren't just covering for weak verbs:
She was discouraged as she walked to work.
Discouraged is a perfectly fine adjective, but it's only there because the verb walked is so vague. How much better to say:She trudged to work.
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