Expressive Punctuation: Contrasting sentence lengths

Long-short combos

It wasn't normal, it was extreme

A great way to add impact to your writing, to get people’s attention or to show them something is important, is to contrast the length of your sentences. Like this.

This rat was not just eating the sugar. He was bathing in it.

The Glass CastleJeanette WallsSource

In this snippet, Walls is trying to show just how extreme something was, and she does it with a one-two punch: set up with a long sentence about what you'd think was normal, and then punch in with a short jab about how extreme the situation really was.

Henry was not just eating his snack. He was worshipping it.

The dog hadn’t just nibbled on Joey’s teddy bear. It had shredded it.

I wasn’t just beating Sandy at foosball. I was crushing him.

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