Sue Burke (mount_oregano) wrote,
Sue Burke

Go Ahead — Write This Story: Be positive

Strong sentences are positive. Sometimes you need “not” or other negative expressions like “to fail to” or “never,” and at other times they might be superfluous. Long ago, when writing was more ornate, double negations in sentence (which come out to a positive) were a mark of style, but these days we strive for clarity. Consider these sentences:

I didn’t think she wouldn’t come. Versus: I thought she would come.

You don’t want your reader to fail to understand you. Versus: You want your reader to understand you.

In the course of the story, never did knights fail to respond to a challenge. Versus: In the course of the story, knights unfailingly responded to a challenge.

If you want to write a story with positive expressions, here are a few ideas:

• This is a fairy tale of sorts in which a prince is sent on a grueling quest by his evil fairy godmother, and little by little he comes to believe she did the right thing.

• This is a novel about two schoolgirls: one believes they’re best friends and the other doesn’t, and as adults, the first girl finds herself in the position to help her old best friend.

• This is a story in which a church congregation targets its prayers on specific ill or injured people, and if they recover, it sends them a bill.

— Sue Burke


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