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March Writing Yoga: Strong Sentences
Anne Janzer -- Membership Expert Anne Janzer -- Membership Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Luis Obispo, CA
Tuesday, March 5, 2024


Watch the video or read it below.

Welcome to the March Writing Yoga. This month we’re getting back to basics.

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ve probably done the Mountain Pose. From the outside, it looks like you’re simply standing still. But, you’re standing with intention, with posture and alignment. The mountain post is the foundation for other, more complex movements.

The writing equivalent of the Mountain Pose is a simple, strong sentence.

This exercise is a variation of the One Sentence per Line exercise in The Writer’s Voice. That exercise was inspired by Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg, which I highly recommend. It’s fun to read, and will make you look at sentences differently.

The simple sentence exercise

Find something that you’ve already written, like an email, a social media post, or a few paragraphs of a chapter or report. It need not be long.

Rewrite it with one sentence per line. Use simple, short sentences.

Each sentence should have a subject, an action, and perhaps an object of that action. No dashes, no semicolons, no colons. No clauses that qualify what you’re saying. Prune each sentence to one essential idea.

Does your first pass sound like a children’s early reading book?

The dog has a bone.

The dog likes the bone.

If so, try again. You may need to rearrange the ideas ideas or clarify your thoughts.

A clear sentence structure exhibits clear thinking.

Simple and beautiful

So, why do this? Verlyn Klinkenborg would say that we must master the fundamentals of sentence structure before building more elaborate sentences.

Let’s also enjoy the beauty of the sentences for their own sake.

Short sentences can be powerful. They break complex ideas into their atomic parts. You feel the rhythm pulse through the words of the sentence.

Think of this as the basic posture you need for everything else in your writing.

This month, keep revisiting this exercise. As you write something, think, “What if I tried this one sentence per line exercise? How would that change what I write?”

Let me know if it makes a difference for you.

Related Content

Did you miss the other Writing Yogas? Here they are.

Find more exercises in The Writer’s Voice.

Read Several Short Sentences About Writing

Cuesta Park Consulting & Publishing publishes books and online courses for writers and marketing professionals. Books are available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats from a wide range of retailers. For more information, visit AnneJanzer.com.

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Name: Anne Janzer
Group: Cuesta Park Consulting
Dateline: San Luis Obispo, CA United States
Direct Phone: 4155176592
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