I don’t recall where I first ran across this sound advice, but I’ve referred to it many times over the years.

Five Words

Transcribed thanks to GPT-4-Vision. 😉

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together are monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals——sounds that say, listen to this, it is important.”

Gary Provost (100 Ways to Improve Your Writing, 1985)