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The last time I used this book, Writing Tools, I talked about how you should begin sentences with Subjects and Verbs. Today we’ll be talking about how you organize your words. One should order words for emphasis.
Why is this important?
In any sentence, the final punctuation acts as a stop. The slight pause in reading adds emphasis to the final word in the sentence, so minding where you place words in a sentence adds additional emphasis. For instance, let’s say there was a bombing at the school. Which would be better: Parents arrived at the school dressed in housecoats and business suits. OR Parents hurried to the school, arriving in their business suits and housecoats. Being left with the image of housecoats imparts the sense of urgency those parents would feel wouldn’t it?
When you start and end a sentence with stronger words, it allows you hide weaker or supportive words in the middle. This is especially useful when quoting someone, allowing you to list the attribution in the middle of the quote “I have having the flu,” said the lad, “it makes my throat sore.”
Sometimes people call this the 2-3-1 tool of emphasis (here’s an interesting article on that). The most important sentence comes at the end, the second most at the beginning, and the least important in the middle. Or simply put the best first and last, the rest in the middle. Follow this for sentences and for paragraphs, it will make your writing better overall.
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Practice your skills at using this principle.
If you would like to follow along in writing tools, you can find it here on Amazon.