Posted in Writing, Writing Resources

Wednesday Word Workshop: Parallelism


Hey everyone! Today I’m going to give you a quick tip. I would like to talk to you about parallelism in ideas and in sentence structure.

While you are reading a book, do you ever get tripped up the author’s sentence structure? Do you ever notice how something may not “read right” or do you ever feel as though the sentence feels “uneven”? With one side heavier than another?

This may help you a bit (while for others, this may just come naturally): sentence and idea parallelism.

When you have two ideas (in one sentence) that are parallel, your sentence may flow more smoothly if your sentence is parallel in grammatical form as well. In other words, you should give each idea equal time (and words) in your sentence. It may feel and read awkward if your sentence reads:

I would rather crush your gigantic pinhead like an overripe tomato under my big, black, leather boots instead of hugging you.” – Me

This sentence reads better:

This novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force.” – Dorothy Parker

Does that first sentence feel a bit lopsided? The second sentence was much more symmetrical. The first ideas (in purple) need to be parallel as the second ideas (in teal). If you are rereading your work (if it is in either the revision or the editing process), and you find yourself stumbling over your words, check and make sure that your ideas are somewhat balanced and symmetrical.

All righty everyone, that’s all for today. Back to the word mines with you!

whipLove, Joy



I'm Jocelyn DeVore - writer, reader, student for life, daughter, friend, artist, nerd, movie lover, avid coffee drinker, obsessive reader, and girl.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s