"It took me almost another decade after graduate school to figure out what writing really is, or at least what it could be for me; and what prompted this second lesson in language was my discovery of certain remaindered books—mostly of fiction, most notably by Barry Hannah, and all of them, I later learned, edited by Gordon Lish—in which virtually every sentence had the force and feel of a climax, in which almost every sentence was a vivid extremity of language, an abruption, a definitive inquietude. These were books written by writers who recognized the sentence as the one true theater of endeavor, as the place where writing comes to a point and attains its ultimacy." Gary Lutz, THE SENTENCE IS A LONELY PLACE
This is a fascinating "literacy-memoir", about a writer's growth to writing. But of course it's the above that grabbed me. His "unit of writing" is the sentence. That's what intrigues him, that's what he works hardest on.
What's yours? Are you concerned with the micro-aspects, getting the right word, finding the right image for this moment? The sentence-- "vivid extremity of langage"?
Or do you concentrate more on the middle distance, the scene and/or chapter?
Or the macro aspects, the characters, structure, plot? Are you a storyteller more than a wordsmith?
I have to say, I think the unit for me is the paragraph. I wouldn't have every sentence be "vivid", because the paragraph might need quieter sentences. I focus a lot more, I think, on how to start a paragraph than how to start a scene. And how to end the paragraph!! Well, that's a preoccupation for me.
I wouldn't, for example, consider it repetitive to repeat a word on the page, but I would be careful about repeating in a paragraph.
What about you?