Writing Assignment: Count To Three

by Randy Murray on July 15, 2011

Three is a magic number. With three points you can define a plane. Three examples creates a series. Two is coincidence, but three is a pattern.

For the writer, recognizing patterns and using them effectively is a critical skill. And three is the place to start.

You can overuse series of three to the point of absurdity. There’s a famous Star Trek meme and joke based on threes. Pick any two actual historical characters and add a third fictional alien to give as examples. “George Washington, John F. Kennedy, and Kholos of Vegas Three were all great leaders.”

But used well threes can help you present a logical argument, create symmetry, and add a lyrical quality to your writing. It’s very effective, but to gain that effectiveness you’ll need to practice.

For today’s assignment, create three sentences, each with a series of three.  For fun, try at least one Star Trek series.

Here are my examples:

Randy tried to get on with writing the great American novel, but kept getting distracted by the urgent matters in his inbox, the pressing issues of paying clients, and the stream of really interesting tweets scrolling by on his screen.

“What do you want me do? Do you want me to quit my job, spend all day at home, and sit here watching the paint dry?”

There are many examples of this dramatic transitional state. Consider, for example, the metamorphosis of the Monarch butterfly, the dramatic behavioral changes in human adolescents during puberty, and the inverted phase change of the slime moths on Aldebaran IV.

You may leave your completed assignment in the comments section below.

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The Writing Assignment: Count To Three by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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