Architecture of a Clear Sentence


If you use strong verbs to express crucial actions and make the subjects of those verbs the agents of those actions, then your sentences will begin with (1) precise subjects, frequently agents, and (2) just as importantly, short subjects. Your subjects will be short because, once you have introduced the characters, you only need a short phrase to refer to them.

There is a third reason why it is useful to organize your sentences so that they open with short, specific subjects naming one of your cast of characters. When you do that, you also begin your sentences with

3. more familiar rather than less familiar information.

Such sentences will get off to a quick start. They don't force the reader to hold in mind long subjects while searching for the verb.

Most importantly, sentences with short, familiar subjects locate the reader in familiar territory right from the start. Readers will more easily understand the new information in your sentences when you introduce it in the context of something old and familiar.