What’s in a sentence?

The great George Orwell says:

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

  • What am I trying to say?
  • What words will express it?
  • What image or idiom will make it clearer?
  • Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

And he will probably ask himself two more:

  • Could I put it more shortly?
  • Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

I absolutely love this! I am such a huge fan of George Orwell and think this will definitely come in handy when constructing my sentences. I would like to add one more though … and that is:

  • Have I already said this before?

What are your tips on constructing a solid sentence, or even a paragraph?




2 thoughts on “What’s in a sentence?

  1. I’m a stickler for using proper english and punctuation. There is nothing worse than reading something and finding a typo – I’ll give you an example of something I read the other day in an email: “The elevator has been repaired. I’m glad because my legs were getting “soar” from climbing the stairs.”
    Now how’s that for a daily chuckle.

  2. The “could I put it more shortly” fits me to a T. In his book, ‘On Writing’, Stephen King talks a lot about simplifying, and I work hard on that in my writing. I love to talk, and it shows. lol.

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