The magic of a single sentence

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I adore writing.

Yet practically every time I sit down to write it’s a battle. That first paragraph, that first sentence, that first word, all punch me in the gut and kick me in the shins every time I try to capture them.

I can see why they fight so hard. I wouldn’t like to be captured and confined to a page either. It’s more fun running around free, with no constraints.

But I’m a writer. It’s my job to rein in those wild creatures we call words and convince them to work together to tell a story. And let me tell you, it’s not a particularly easy job.

To convince the little creatures to play nice I use the single sentence method. If I sit down to write and find that those words are being particularly ornery, I make a deal with myself (and them).

All I have to write for the day is a single sentence. One little sentence. It doesn’t matter how long or short, as long as it progresses the story and gets written.

That’s when the magic happens.

It’s strange. Once I rein in enough words to make a single sentence, other words usually follow. I don’t know if they’re playing Tag, or maybe Follow the Leader, but a single sentence turns into a paragraph, and that paragraph multiplies to become a page. Once I even wrote an entire chapter that way, without even realizing I had done it!

Of course, there are days that I write that single sentence, and that’s all. On those days I have to remind myself that tomorrow is another day, and hey, I have moved my story forward. If only a bit.

Besides. Those days are rare. In all the years I’ve been writing, I can only remember a handful.

Without a doubt, there’s magic in a single sentence.

Happy writing!

 

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