Use fragments for rhetorical effect

Should you use fragments in your writing? Your high school English teacher almost certainly said “No!” and marked it with a red pen.

Fragments are okay if they serve a rhetorical effect, such as when creating suspense. For example: She realized something was behind her. Something large. Something breathing heavily.

Still, fragments should be used rarely. For a rhetorical effect to be successful, it needs to stand out from the rest of the text.

Fragments need revising if they don’t really serve this effect or if they are confusing to understand because they aren’t a complete sentence.