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Fragments

As a general rule, sentence fragments are bad things. They are acceptable in dialogue, because people do not always speak in complete sentences. To be absolutely correct, however, fragments should not appear in your narrative.

That said, HMG is going out on a personal limb in favor of style over rules. In HMG's personal opinion, sentence fragments, when employed judiciously, are useful dramatic devices. Please note that HMG specified when employed judiciously. By this, she means that sentence fragments should not be used every chance the writer gets, nor should they be an excuse for sloppy writing. They should not be used by any writer who has not proven a thorough knowledge of the rules of grammar. However, HMG will provide two examples, and allow you to decide which you prefer.

Example 1:   Example 2:

Blair gazed down at the bomb. Oh, God, he had to defuse it himself. How? He didn't know anything about bombs. Taggert spoke in his ear, and he lifted the cover off, slowly, carefully, praying he wouldn't set it off.

Blair gazed down at the bomb. Oh, God. He had to defuse it himself. How? He didn't know anything about bombs. Taggert spoke in his ear, and he lifted the cover off. Slowly. Carefully. Praying he wouldn't set it off.

Plot

Exposition

Show Don't Tell

Continuity

Point of View

Tense Persons

Dialogue

Names, Pronouns, Descriptive Phrases

Fragments

Spelling

Plurals, Numbers, and Apostrophes

Punctuation

Common Errors

Resources

Favorite Bloopers

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