Switching Up Sentence Length {Writer's Toolkit Series}


Image of post title: Switching up sentence length, a part of the Teach Write Writer's Toolkit Series


Let's begin with another experiment in writing. Please read the following two passages:

Passage #1:

The flakes fluttered to the ground. It had started snowing at midnight. The ground was now just white. You couldn’t see the grass anymore. The road was completely covered too. That meant one thing — snow day! We could spend the day sledding.

Passage #2:

The flakes fluttered to the ground. Even though no one was awake to see it, it had started snowing at midnight. Now, there was white everywhere—covering the grass, lining the branches of every tree, hiding the road that led to school. The snow was everywhere. Everywhere! Then I heard the phone ring in the kitchen — snow day! Is it too early to go sledding?

What do you notice about the two passages?

They both convey the same idea, but each creates a different mood and flow. One way this is accomplished is by varying the length of the sentences within the passage.

In the first passage:

  • Every sentence has exactly six words.