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The most important sentence in your story is the first one. It must capture the readers attention--make them want to read the second sentence..
The last sentence in a paragraph should give the readers a push so they want to get to the next paragraph.
The semicolon was used more in the past; modern writers of non-fiction use it in moderation. They rely on the dash or the period to keep the story moving forward.
The semicolon tends to make the reader "pause." Sometimes this is exactly what you want when adding a thought related to the first part of the sentence.
Christine Spear, a fellow MWG member kept telling me I should read:
"On Writing Well" by William Zinsser
I am now reading this well-written book, and have quoted an excerpt to share.
“Rewriting is the essence of writing well: it’s where the game is won or lost. That idea is hard to accept. We all have an emotional equity in our first draft; we can’t believe that it wasn’t born perfect. But the odds are close to 100 percent that it wasn’t. Most writers don’t initially say what they want to say, or say it as well as they could. The newly hatched sentence almost always has something wrong with it. It’s not clear. It’s not logical. It’s verbose. It’s klunky. It’s pretentious. It’s boring. It’s full of clutter. It’s full of clichés. It lacks rhythm. It can be read in several different ways. It doesn’t lead out of the previous sentence. It doesn’t . . . The point is that clear writing is the result of a lot of tinkering.”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. (Smile) Every writer deserves to read this book! Put it on Santa’s Christmas List—if you can wait that long.