Ten years ago, when I started teaching as an adjunct English teacher at a local college, I brushed up on my grammar. I fell in love with the basics of writing all over again: the parts of speech; verbals; clauses–both dependent and independent; appositives; and so on . . .
I had forgotten so much from high school and college.
For the first few years of teaching, I just didn’t understand why my students couldn’t get into things like direct objects and compound-complex sentences. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to cuddle up with a relative pronoun?
My students did not get into writing until I realized this: teaching grammar by itself is worthless; teaching grammar as it relates to writing makes so much more sense.
A book called Image Grammar first introduced me to this concept. I mean, it’s not that big of a leap, using grammar to actually improve your writing skills, fiction or non-fiction. But I surprised myself by not seeing it before.
Now, the reason I’m bringing all this up: I’m on the last round of NaNoWriMo and soon I will be editing my prose. I found this book called The Art of Styling Sentences. I know: the fact that I am excited about this book shows what a nerd I am. I can’t help myself. I love reading about sentence structure.
But just in case you are interested in seeing the different ways you can put a sentence together when you are editing and rewriting what you created during NaNoWriMo, here is a summary of all the patterns:
You can also download this word file I found on the internet that has more examples for each pattern: