On boring sentences

by look i have opinions

“Boring sentences pass by quickly and don’t get in the way of comprehension. By contrast, long passages consisting entirely of exciting sentences full of long words are often deathly dull.”

—Daniel Hemmens (here)

This is a good analysis, and it’s connected with what I was saying earlier about directing the reader’s attention. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my life trying to eliminate “uninteresting” words from perfectly functional sentences. I forced the reader to linger over my prose, deciphering my meaning and admiring my lyricism. Now I think I made a mistake in drawing so much attention to the language I used. My main goal was to tell a story, and I should have used my prose style to call attention to the most significant parts of the story, while otherwise allowing the reader to read easily and naturally. (Some fictions I admire are very difficult to read, but I think that’s because their main goal is something other than telling a story, or because the story they’re telling necessitates a difficult style.)