When To Use Sentence Fragments

A sentence fragment is one that doesn’t contain both a verb and a noun – either of them are missing.  And, yes, they should be used, especially in dialogue.  Fragments add a certain conversational and informal tone to the narrative, and thus they’ll help to characterize your speakers.  Fragments are also very useful in narrative to highlight, emphasize or especially reinforce an important statement.  A fragment, when used effectively, adds pop, life or even lyricism to the writing style.  Still, you have to be careful not to overuse sentence fragments because they can easily become jarring or annoying — what’s “lyrical” with the judicious use of a sentence fragment becomes “atonal” if too many are used.

Comments

  1. Are there any Writer’s workshops in the New York area (I live in Rockland County) that cost less than $200 dollars? Perhaps correspondence or on the internet?
    Thanks for your help,
    Jim McLaughlin

  2. Hi Jim — At $300 for eight sessions, I believe that my workshop is likely the least expensive one out there that’s run by a professional writer and editor. There are writers groups that don’t charge anything, which you might find helpful, but those are limited to mostly unpublished writers critiquing each other’s works. Jeff