As I was reading the book, Grammatically Correct, by Anne Stilman, the sentence fragments page. In high school and college, I learned that sentence fragments were unacceptable when writing a paper for a grade.
Whenever I read novels, sentence fragments stand out, and I tried it in my manuscripts, but it felt wrong, especially when Microsoft gives me the red underline – meaning this is not a good sentence.
The definition according to this book is: “A sentence fragment is a group of words that is punctuated as a sentence – that is, it begins with a capital letter and ends with a terminal punctuation mark – but does not meet the criterion of “grammatically complete” as defined above. A dependent clause or a phrase, standing alone, would constitute a sentence fragment. Sentence fragments are technically errors, but they may be used deliberately for emphasis or some other effect.”
Most of the examples that I’ve read have been from books in dialogue, or ones that use 1st person narrative. I can read the character’s inner thoughts and get to know them.
Now that I have shared my book’s allowance of technically incorrect grammar, I’m going to open one of my manuscripts and practice. I highly recommend this book from Writer’s Digest Books.
Do you like writing your characters thoughts or beliefs in ways that stand out to the reader?