Excerpts from “Creative Writing Essentials for Young Writers” by L. Stewart Hearl

When the Going Gets Tough, the Sentences Get Shorter

During an action sequence, this would be a big mistake: “As we came around the corner of the damp and poorly-lit dungeon barricade, the thousand-pound, yellow and sickly green Thoraxy, with its huge eye and giant, pink bunny ears, took a solid stand, which seemed to indicate, to me at least, that it wasn’t going to let us pass no matter what we could do.”


Not very exciting, was it? Why? There are far too many words here. Description is important, but a large helping of description during an action sequence completely kills the mood of excitement you are trying to create. Incidentally, try not to use very long sentences anyway. It doesn’t impress anyone except retired English professors. You should use sentences no longer than eight or nine words during an action sequence. No one pontificates when they’re in a gun battle and lives.


Add a Chuckle
Humor is something that can spice up almost any story.  Consider the recent film “Guardians of the Galaxy”.  While it is certainly an action/adventure film, it also contains copious amounts of humor.


Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how to be funny.  What I can say is that it is not a series of jokes. It must be situational humor.  A good example of this is the hugely popular “Big Bang Theory” – a sitcom (situational comedy). If you can make your reader smile, cool.  If you can make them laugh out loud, perfect! Below is a small example.


Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

Some poems rhyme.

This one doesn’t.

from “Creative Writing Essentials for Young Writers” by L. Stewart Hearl (Kindle)

If you’re in the Houston area this weekend and interested in a FREE Writing Workshop, this is your lucky day!



Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Writing Craft

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s