The first two students in my writing class have their workshops next Thursday, so they’ve already sent out their pieces for class consumption. This final assignment is a short story or novel opening that is a minimum 10 pages (2500 words) and maximum 25 pages (6250 words). The pieces that were sent out last night for workshopping next Thursday was a short story about a couple driving through Death Valley and a novel opening that, I think, is an experiment in quantum physics whereby the writer attempts to achieve a sentence-to-paragraph ratio that is less than 1.0. Certainly in reading the first four pages, the author was quite successful in entangling my brain and his words together and then transplanting the former so incredibly far away from the latter.
But wait! And then–and then–after entangling the two and putting them in opposite spheres of existence, somehow my brain was still highly cognizant of the fact that while there were 41 paragraphs stretched out over 17 pages, there were only 73 sentences. Do the math: that’s a sentence-to-paragraph ratio of 1.78.
Yo, why does that matter?
Well, like I said, this is stretched out 17 pages. 5,825 words in 73 sentences. That’s almost 80 words a sentence. 80 words a sentence on average! Yeah, you feels me here now, don’t ya. And this is just the first week of workshops.