Never begin a sentence with ‘or’, ‘and’ or ‘but’

04 Nov

“But what if it makes for a better sentence?”

“And why not, exactly?”

Or what?


Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Of Writing


Tags: , , ,

8 responses to “Never begin a sentence with ‘or’, ‘and’ or ‘but’

  1. Keri Payton

    November 4, 2011 at 20:50

    I’m beginning sentences with “and” all the time during NaNoWriMo. Of course I’m also throwing grammar and spelling to the wind and riding the flying toad to the land of, “Begone inner editor, you shall never catch me!”

    • Ben White

      November 4, 2011 at 23:03

      You’ve got to keep writing fast so that pesky inner editor can’t keep up!

  2. Catana

    November 5, 2011 at 02:04

    In other words, never write sentences that sound anything like what real people would say. That’s one good way to make sure dialogue sounds completely artificial and stilted.

    And furthermore . . .

  3. George

    November 5, 2011 at 02:48

    I’ll do one better: I make generous use of And and use sentences like But… and Or not. When you’re writing first-person and want to help the reader feel like he is in the character’s head, it’s a great tool.

    • Ben White

      November 5, 2011 at 08:24

      Or in other words, it’s a silly, outdated rule that has no place in modern fiction writing. But of course there are those who disagree.

  4. Christine DeMaio-Rice

    November 5, 2011 at 17:33

    And, but and or will get you pretty far.

    I hate rules Ben. Rules are for journalists. Fiction writers only need consistency and a sense of what will turn off the reader.

    • Ben White

      November 5, 2011 at 20:43

      I hate Rules Ben too. That guy’s a jerk.


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