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Christopher Kokoski


If you read enough bestselling novels, you start to realize that best-selling authors use a secret sentence structure to make their sentences more powerful, meaningful and resonant to the readers.

Once you’re aware of it, you’ll see this instruction on nearly every page of every best-selling novel you read. After learning of this structure and applying it to my own short stories and novels, I noticed an instant improvement in my ability to write powerful lasting sentences.

Before I tell you the secret sentence structure, read the following three sentences and see if you can catch it. The sentences are taken from my novel, Dark Halo.

  1. “Half-blind, Chrysanthium groped through pale, feverish light and no light, knowing with a grim certainty that his fingers would find nothing of substance against which to brace himself.”
  2. “A hairy, inhuman body slammed against the driver’s side window.”
  3. “High above Wicker Hollow, cleaving a path through blackened rain clouds, with thunder crashing all around his taut, outstretched body, Chrysanthium dove and spun and dodged spears of lightning.”

Did you notice the sentence structure? The power of this structure lies partly in its simplicity. In other words, the structure is intended to melt into the background of the story unnoticed, and this “invisibility”, at least in part, gives it power and substance in the reader’s mind.

Notice all three example sentences include two descriptive words separated by a comma. Startling? No. Life changing? Probably not. However, using this subtle sentence structure is common practice among best-selling authors.

If you want to check it out for yourself, go grab four bestselling novels off a bookshelf and flip through the pages and see if you don’t find this sentence structure on nearly every page. Really, try it. Like me, you’ll probably discover quickly that bestselling authors in every genre rely heavily on this simple but potent technique to enhance their writing.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend writing a whole short story or novel using only this sentence structure. I believe that would defuse the vibrant, versatile value of this structure.

Here are a few quick tips on how to get the most out of this secret sentence structure:

  •  Only use this technique once per sentence
  • Consider only using it once per paragraph
  • Although this is a very versatile sentence structure, I most commonly see bestselling authors using it in descriptions and during action sequences.

This sentence structure is just one of many elements involved in writing best-selling fiction. I encourage you to seek out other patterns as you read and study the masters.

If you have enjoyed this information, please consider sharing this blog with others. Since one of the best ways to learn how to use this sentence structure is to read how other authors are using it in their novels and stories, please also check out my two novels, Dark Halo and the Past Lives novel series. Thank you again for taking the time to read this blog post.

Twitter: @Eric_Shooter

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