#15 — No sentence variation
Sometimes, sentences start to stack up. When that happens, they can feel as if they’re too similar to each other. In those spots, it’s good to check how these sentences differ. Because if you’re not careful, they can all look the same and feel bland.
See what I mean?
I’ve caught sentences like this back-to-back recently. The words themselves remind me of driving on a Louisiana highway. Which if you’ve never done that before, it’s a lot like riding a horse: bumpy.
This can affect the story’s flow. It’s hard to keep reading if everything is smooth, then bumpy, then smooth, and then bumpy. Just like in real life, readers may try to get off that street.
It’s hard to find these spots as the writer though. The sentences make sense, and they’re correct. They also sound right in your head.
I find the best way to approach this is to take a day to check through every sentence in a short story or a chapter. Note if they are structured the same way three times in a row or more.
Another way is to wait it out. Come back to it after a few weeks or months and read through it. If it sounds bumpy or bland, highlight that section. Later, go back through to see how many sentences are similarly structured.
This isn’t something that usually takes over a whole story but rather a handful of small spots. It’s a good thing to keep a lookout for though.
I hope this helps!