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September 24, 2013

Rules for Writing: Word Placement


I encountered this rule that says you should place the most important word at the sentence’s end.

I certainly hope I’m not the only writer who finds this rule bizarre. When I read this my jaw literally dropped. I would like to know how many editors check the end of every sentence in a 300-500 page manuscript to see if the most important word is there. My editor certainly didn’t mention it while she was editing my short story, Hurricane Crimes.

I don’t have much to say about this rule other than who the heck pays that close of attention to word placement?! Maybe this makes me an amateur. If so, I am happy to be one! ;)

My philosophy is this and it is simple: If the sentence has all the components that makes it complete, if the grammar is correct, if it has strong words, and if it sounds good when you read it aloud then it is good! Regardless if the most important word is in the beginning, middle, or end.


QUESTIONS: Do you believe the most important word in a sentence should be at the end? Or do you find this rule a bit ridiculous like I do?


SHARE: Is there a writing rule you've heard that you thought was just silly? Please share it and we can laugh together. ;)


12 comments:

Kiersi said...

What a crazy rule! Totally disagree on that one, too. The sentence should just say what it needs to say in the order it needs to say it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly! Yay! I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this is a crazy rule. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is really weird. I'd never heard of that rule. I'm sure I break it all the time!

Chrys Fey said...

I read this rule a long time ago on a post by a writer. They listed 100+ rules that all writers should follow to make their books great, and while I found a lot of them to be odd this one was by far the strangest!

I KNOW I break this rule! LOL!!

Beverly Diehl said...

If you're writing humor, the funniest word or phrase DEFINITELY needs to be at the end, and not just of the sentence, but of the paragraph.

Consider: For my birthday, the girls at the office gave me a fancy cake and tucked into the G-string of a very handsome, almost naked man, a gift card to Victoria's Secret.

vs.

For my birthday, the girls at the office gave me a fancy cake and a gift card to Victoria's Secret. Tucked into the G-string of a very handsome, almost naked man.

Which is funnier/has more punch? I wouldn't twist myself up into knots trying to rewrite ALL your sentences, but if readers feel like they are getting lost, you want your main point (not necessarily the main word) at the end of your sentences/paragraphs, where it carries more weight and focuses attention.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for your comment, Beverly! And for explaining how this rule makes sense. I don't write humor, but I see what you mean.

Irene said...

I'm no writing expert, but I honestly don't know how I am going to apply this rule hehe Beverly's comment makes sense, though.

Chrys Fey said...

I agree with you on both counts, Irene. :)

Anonymous said...

I've never heard that rule either! Weird.

Chrys Fey said...

Neither had I. Thanks for visiting, Deborah! :)

Unknown said...

I totally disagree on this one! That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard of. And it would be interesting to know how many authors, if any, actually follow it.

I strongly believe you can build a strong sentence regardless whether or not the most important word is at the end! Bizarre indeed!

Chrys Fey said...

It really would be interesting to know how many authors follow this rule. If any, like you said. I've been reading a lot lately from many different authors and I see the most important words located everywhere in sentences, not just at the end.