Short sharp sentences have their place

Mostly in action sequences. Moving from the first draft to the second of my new manuscript–as yet untitled and waiting to be sent to Orca to see if they like it or not–I’m realising how many of my action sequences can be more suspenseful if I take out conjunctions and write short, crisp sentences.

Instead of: Dad pushes him away, but he comes back, arms swinging, and hits Dad right in the jaw. Dad staggers back, then swings at the man, but he misses and the man bends down and shoves his head right into Dad’s stomach. He pushes Dad backwards until Dad trips over the gunwale of his boat, and falls right into the water.

Now I have:
The man bends down. Shoves his head right into Dad’s stomach. He pushes Dad backwards until Dad trips over the gunwale of his boat.
Dad falls headfirst into the water.
In a second Dad’s boat has roared off. The other boat follows.
Dad’s alone in the water.

Shorter, sharper, stronger. 🙂

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