I feel like every sentence I write sounds the same. How do I make my writing more... Dynamic? Help.

I’m writing a book at the moment. As I look through my older chapters, I feel more and more that all of my sentences are the same, and my writing isn’t dynamic enough, especially in some places. Any tips?

Here’s a sample:

Over the last five or so years, I have managed to keep my powers a secret. I don’t want anyone trying to use me for anything, whether it be lab experiments or espionage. So I keep to myself. My powers help with that, since I can create a lot of things just by thinking it and using my magic, so I don’t need to interact with people unnecessarily. I can’t do everything though, my powers are still finite.

Today is my seventeenth birthday, December twenty-first, and it’s chilly and snowing. I don’t mind, after all, I can survive most things because of my powers.

I wave my hands again, and a single cupcake appears, with a raspberry instead of a cherry on top. I softly hum ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself, and take a bite. It tastes pretty good, especially considering it didn’t exist five minutes ago.

After finishing my pitiful birthday cake, I wave my hands and the wrapper disappears, and then I just sit there for a bit, a ball of fire in my hand to make me even warmer, the light bouncing off the walls. I think of the past five years, being by myself, having no one at all. I don’t think I’ve even talked to anyone this week. Literally, not a single word. But I can deal with being lonely.

Your grammar seems to be more of an issue than your sentence structure.

But for the sentence structure, there aren’t many repeated themes that would suggest it’s a problem. The reason you be feeling this way is because in nearly every sentence you string together a bunch of clauses into the same thought. Try breaking some up into shorter sentences.

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Sentence size can play a key part in adjusting the flow of your reading. Long flowing sentences are great for non action scenes or exposition where descriptions can be more flowery, so to speak. But short sentences work best for action. They emphasize urgency. Sentence flow is as much an art form to writing as the writing itself.

Example: Long flowing sentences for description.

The light in the church was soft as amber and flicked a thousand shadows in a thousand crevices. The wide, yawning ceiling opened to a fresco of the gods at work, shaping the world and giving it life. The smell of sandalwood and incense nipped at my nose, leaving me heady and almost breathless. And in front, chiseled in marbled glory, stood Anrath the Great God of all.

Now for short sentences:

Dannin bobbed left. Kevrin dodged left. They met, fists clashing. Flesh pounded flesh. Dannin gasped, recoiled and struck back. Bone crunched to bone. Both men fell, rolled up and came again. Moving in constant motion. Death in their eyes. Blood in their teeth. They knew that only one could live.

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Your structure tends to favor complex sentences (independent clause + dependent clause).

Use some simple sentences (could have participial phrases or not) and compound sentences in a limited manner to break it up a bit.

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Hello,
as a suggestion, try using short sentences.

More important: don’t focus too much on the first phase of your story, on repetitions and structure, just think about writing and getting to the end of the story.
The first draft is done almost in apnea following the flow of your words …

Good luck :wink:

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My suggestion: Read
All writers are scavenging, really. Read and read and read and steal shamelessly until you’ve found the voice that you want your voice to be.
Try the classics. The Great Gatsby is a brilliant example of a book written in the first person. Try the Amulet of Samarkand for humor. Read Lolita, if for nothing else but the prose.
Go out and read, my friend. The writing will come eventually.

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@Eternalautumnfire @sarimwaseem @SapphireAlena @johnsoldiers @rakdosleader Thanks! :slight_smile:

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Shuffling this two paragraphs seems to fit

This comes first

Then this

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@SapphireAlena @Eternalautumnfire @sarimwaseem @johnsoldiers @rakdosleader @Bluestorme Rewrite:

Today is my seventeenth birthday. December twenty-first. It’s chilly and snowing. I don’t mind. After all, I can survive most things because of my powers.

Over the last five or so years, I have managed to keep my powers a secret. I don’t want anyone trying to use me for anything, whether it be lab experiments or espionage. So I keep to myself. My powers help with that, since I can create a lot of things. I just think it and use my magic. I don’t need to interact with people unnecessarily. I can’t do everything, though. My powers are still finite.

I wave my hands again. A single cupcake appears, with a raspberry instead of a cherry on top. I softly hum ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself, and take a bite. It tastes pretty good, especially considering it didn’t exist five minutes ago.

I finish my pitiful birthday cake. I wave my hands and the wrapper disappears. Then I just sit there for a bit, a ball of fire in my hand to make me even warmer. The light from my hands is bouncing off the walls. I think of the past five years. Being by myself. Having no one at all. I don’t think I’ve even talked to anyone this week. Literally, not a single word. But I can deal with being lonely.

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Interesting idea! It does look pretty good, actually.

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Okayyy

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Arranging the actions of the characters in order of occurance sometimes makes a huge difference.

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Could you please elaborate? I’m not really sure what exactly you mean. :no_mouth:

Try starting some of your sentences with something other than the subject (I in this example). A few participial phrases, varied word order, etc.

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One of my favorite personal tricks is using a thesaurus (please confirm the definition of the word before using it though :joy:). Using a thesaurus will help you remove duplicate words from your prose and adds spice and variety where you would typically see mundane repetition.

For example, you use the word “power” or “powers” a lot. Can you swap a few with maybe “abilities” or “unusual talents” or something like that? (Just as a starting point to get you going).

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Err… How should I say this. Example, after writing out a chapter, Read through it and see if there are actions or paragraph scenes that should take place before another. You can rearrange them just like I did with yours.

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This is really good. The use of shorter sentences really punches things together quite well. This is a solid rewrite.

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Thanks! It’s already a 19-part story so it’ll take awhile, but I think I have a solid start. I’ve honestly matured as a writer even in the last few weeks so that’s what sparked this, haha. I looked at my book and was like, “WHOA. Hold up.”

That’s wonderful to hear! It’s always fun to look back at your old work and see just how much you’ve improved. My short story “The Ghost of Therea” went through several rewrites and its a sight to see just how much better each rewrite made for the story. Good luck in your story :slight_smile:

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Thanks! I’m sure I’ll look at this in four more years and rewrite again - that’s a part of writing. :slight_smile: And of course I have a lot to learn - I’m only 15.