Fighting Writer’s Block: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…Mega Sentence!

Fighting Writer’s Block: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…Mega Sentence!

A hero of mighty proportions, he’s cloaked in wordiness but armed with proper punctuation. He travels the brainwaves of struggling young authors, searching for creative juices just waiting to be released. Wherever writer’s block rears its ugly head, he’ll be there. Wherever a bleary-eyed kid looks up from his keyboard and cries, “I can’t think of anything to write,” he’ll be there. He is…Mega Sentence!

When you write a formal composition for school or homework, teachers are on the hunt for run-on sentences. A run-on sentence is  a sentence in which two or more independent clauses (with both a subject and a verb) are joined together without proper punctuation. Here is an example of a run-on sentence:

“My brother ate a grasshopper I watched him do it and almost threw up.”

We are obviously missing a period after the word “grasshopper.”

Mega Sentence isn’t a run-on in the technical sense of the word. He is a way to unlock your creativity by reaching for new word combinations that, when used with correct punctuation, make sense to the reader.

Are you stumped about what to write? Here’s an exercise: Ask someone for a noun. Let’s suppose that your mom came up with “parrot.” You must now write a mega sentence about a parrot.

“Harley, undeniably upset by the death of his guppy, Alfonso, who drowned in a glass of bubbly soda that had been placed next to his fish bowl (he jumped into it thinking it was a new Jacuzzi), walked down to the pet store with the vague idea of purchasing a Gila monster to replace Alfonso because he was quite certain a desert-dwelling animal would not take the slightest interest in any fizzy beverage presented to it when his forlorn gaze lighted upon a beautiful, albeit noisy, parrot.”

It’s Mega Sentence!

Perhaps your little sister, being a little sister and a trifle irritating, gave you a verb instead of a noun, like the word “smash.” You might write:

“Unfortunately for the small girl, whose pig tails resembled the gnarly, twisted, bristled tails of baby elephants, the entire bag of gummy bears, including the almost-clear white ones with the red centers, as well as the green ones that taste really gross but if left on the sidewalk to melt look like someone sneezed on the ground (which could turn out great if a really squeamish person stepped on them and then hopped around like a loony bird trying to scrape them off his shoe), was smashed flat by the station wagon.”

When writing a mega sentence, do your very best to follow the rules for correct punctuation, but the most important thing is…have fun!

Here’s one to start with: marshmallow.

Now…go write!

Our Author

Stephanie Nelson is a creative writing teacher for 7th – 12th grade students at Cross Creek Christian School in Sweetwater, TN.  She has taught literature and language arts for the past five years and homeschools five wonderful children.  Her writing experience includes over ten years of non-profit administrative and marketing materials, yearbook and website content, and two winning events in NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel in a Month).

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