Back to the basics with regular Challenge winner, Ann Grover. Weekly lessons to help you hone your basic writing skills.
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Back in my school days I was taught that there should be two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence. That was many years ago and I have been faithful to abide by it for the most of my life, as it pertained to the written word.
I don't think that rule applies anymore. I still like it, just not sure if I should always use it. Any input on that, like word of mouth on preferences and such?
Furthermore, I also learned that one should not start a sentence with words like "and" and "then". I've also looked to avoid it, unless in a short story and conversing in it too.
I think it is ok to use it at the beginning of a sentence in a longer story, just probably not favorable to use it excessively that way.
Thanks in advance!
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs
The "two spaces after a period" rule was back when we used typewriters. With computers, it's not necessary; in fact, if you're submitting something for publication, they prefer only one space after a period. When you leave two, it sometimes creates "rivers" of white space trickling down the page.
If you find it difficult to get used to using only one space, go ahead and type your document as usual--then use the "find and replace" function when the whole document is finished, and replace all of your [space space] with [space], all at one time.
Starting a sentence with a conjunction is permissible when done intentionally, for literary effect or in order to create your "writer's voice". It's a style choice, and good writers work on ways to do it well. Additionally, intentional sentence fragments can help with pacing.
You're far more likely to find sentences beginning with "and" or "but" (or similar words) in contemporary or literary fiction than in nonfiction writing or in more traditional fiction. And of course, it's quite common (and very acceptable) in dialogue.
Hope that was helpful for you!
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Well this was a very successful find!
Firstly, I was searching for the answer to starting sentences with And or But. Does the rule still apply to "Because" or is this still frowned upon? For example:
"The number of readers has dropped dramatically in recent days and the library is finding it difficult to fund its programs. Because of this we will be starting..."
In this context is it okay to use "Because" or would something like "As a result of this decline in membership..." be more suitable?
Another word I was admonished for using at the start of a sentence (at University) is "However" but I am confused as to why this is a problem? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Secondly, I was not aware of the 2-space rule being canned for computers! Even in this post I am double spacing after the full stop (period); this is going to take some time to re-learn!
Yes, you may start a sentence with because, but you must make sure you do not have a sentence fragment. You must have an independent clause. An independent clause must form a complete sentence by itself.
Because there were no more Oreos.
Sentence fragment. Incorrect.
Because there were no more Oreos, lunch was a dismal failure. Correct. The independent clause, lunch was a dismal failure, is a complete sentence on its own.
To do a quick test, switch it around.
Lunch was a dismal failure because there were no more Oreos.
It is a complete sentence.
The same is true for however.
However, lunch was a dismal failure because there were no more Oreos.
The rule of not using "because" at the beginning of a sentence came about (probably) because of the tendency to leave the statement as a sentence fragment. So why not just make an overarching rule. The end of the problem.
However, for dialogue, go ahead. It's how we talk.
"Why was that luncheon so terrible?" moaned Ann.
"Because there were no more Oreos," complained Chris.
I don't even care for Oreos. Now, Nanaimo bars, we're talking seriously good stuff.
Start practicing the single space. Your fingers will learn quickly.
"What remains of a story after it is finished? Another story..." Eli Wiesel
Thanks for the clarification on these.
Because of the clarifications, writing has suddenly become much easier!
As for Nanaimo bars . . . I just googled them and oh boy, I am in trouble! They look amazing! I might just have to try and find a recipe for them I think!
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