Week of January 20, 2013—Syntax Needn’t Be Taxing
Quote of the Week:
All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary—it’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
Last week we looked at my notes from Joyce Sweeney’s voice seminar. This week I’m going to address the last element of voice—syntax. Here’s how Joyce defines syntax:
Syntax—the devices used to encourage readers to read in a particular rhythm . . . includes sentence length and type, word order, punctuation
As a writing teacher, I talk about all these things with my students—but I lump it all under the heading of sentence variety. I think I need to start being more specific in how I talk about each example of syntax. I'll try doing that with you this week by using examples from picture books that model the various components of syntax.
Remember this week’s quote from Somerset Maugham— “All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary—it’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences,” and let’s work on arranging our words into stellar sentences.
Monday, January 21— The Rhythm of Sentences
Tuesday, January 22— Sentence Length
Wednesday, January 23— Sentence Type
Thursday, January 24— Punctuation
Friday, January 25— Word Order