Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On Writing: Past Boring

“When we discovered that all the food was cooked and ready to be served, we opened all the cupboards, thinking to ourselves that there weren’t enough glasses in the cupboard but surely there were somewhere – those kids again! – and we put the plates on the table along with mismatched silverware and some jelly glasses.”

Are you snoring yet? Whew, this is a boring sentence but one with a little bit of promise.

Let’s talk about re-writing today.

The sentence above is wordy, lacks focus, and, in the end, winds to a insignificant close. Its length and complexity imply that it is important – but it is not.

So let’s re-write it:

“After the food was cooked, we set the table for supper.”

Or, “We discovered the glasses were missing when we set the table.”

Or, “With kids, it’s jelly jars and mismatched silverware instead of the china and candles we once enjoyed.”

There are many more sentences we can pull from that monster. I'll bet you can do better than I just did. Don’t dread re-writing. Play with it. Come up with several of your own sentences from my dreary lead sentence. Chip away the unnecessary and spring loose the meaning. Re-writing can be a game so have fun with it!

Put some of your sentences in the comment section below to help us all.

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