By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Speaker-Publishing Coach
What is a “run-on” sentence? Google thinks more than 20 words is too long. And, in general, if sentences are longer than twelve to twenty words, I suggest doing some magic!
Turn one long sentence into two sentences. To entice people to slow down and read today is a challenge. If they are reading the first sentence of your writing, that is already a coup. Do not send them away. No one wants to travel down your byways and highways of unstructured thought, only to get lost on a dead end street of cluelessness.
A video is just a click away, and they will click, if lost or bored. On the Internet, that is called bounce rate. If writing on the Internet, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices suggest writing to a 7th-grade level. Personally, I like to write and read sentences of twelve words or less.
To make sentences shorter, look for superfluous words that most writers tend to overuse. These words tend to be adjectives or connector words such as very, try to, just, to be, for me, it, any, end up, only, so, many, more, and much.
Sample 1: Try to simplify your writing to make it much more believable. Over exaggeration in writing can end up haveing the very opposite effect intended.
REWRITE—Sample 1: Simplify your writing to boost believability. Exaggeration in your writing can backfire. Less is more.
To make a long sentence into two sentences find somewhere to end a thought and insert a period. Next, capitalize the first letter of the beginning of the next sentence, and create another thought.
Sample 2: Read about my discovery, and in the light of the new information, learn how to become your own healer and cure your own health problems naturally—I repeat, at no cost! (30 words)
REWRITE—Sample 2: To learn how to become your own healer, this piece shares my new discovery. Read on to cure your own health naturally at no cost. (first sentence 19 words) (second sentence 11 words)
Sample 3: Become your own diagnostician and doctor during these health care crisis times—when you need to take charge of your own health and well-being. (24 words)
REWRITE—Sample 3: With this new discovery, you may be your own diagnostician and doctor! Therefore, during your next health crisis, you can practice affecting your own health and well-being.
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