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Re: Action Writing

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:03 pm
by Brien Sz
I understand the reference it's alluding to. What I think is, it's a little sloppy. For me. If I was the beta reader, I would have circled it, put a ? mark and suggested to rewrite it. Maybe I would have given an example sentence. I didn't say it was bad or that the sentence didn't work or was unbelievable. I simply pointed out that it could be tightened up. Maybe, I have a little too much journalism in me from being pounded into making sure that the sentence makes absolute sense. If you read it and it puzzles you upon instinct, sometimes... in fact, many times, the sentence probably could be tightened up. Just me. Just sayin.

Re: Action Writing

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:28 pm
by Crono91
Brien Sz wrote:
> I understand the reference it's alluding to. What I think is, it's a
> little sloppy. For me. If I was the beta reader, I would have circled it,
> put a ? mark and suggested to rewrite it. Maybe I would have given an
> example sentence. I didn't say it was bad or that the sentence didn't work
> or was unbelievable. I simply pointed out that it could be tightened up.
> Maybe, I have a little too much journalism in me from being pounded into
> making sure that the sentence makes absolute sense. If you read it and it
> puzzles you upon instinct, sometimes... in fact, many times, the sentence
> probably could be tightened up. Just me. Just sayin.

Usually always true. No point confusing the reader. I ended up separating the sentences.

Re: Action Writing

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:52 am
by rlago
Crono91 wrote:
> You SINGLE sentence has no issue. It portrays exactly what you wanted it to portray, with it happening all at once. However, if you plan on writing an entire chapter full of intense details like that, then yes, it has an issue.
Yes, my question is particular to a single sentence, not to its context.

I briefly mentioned that in the original post, but allow me to explain in more details now. I have a bunch of friends who have read the first 4 chapters of the novel. There was absolutely no complaint about clarity, slow pace, lack of substance in the text, lack of development, nothing of that sort. On the contrary, so far I've heard only praises (but then again, they are friends, they might be just being nice :P). Two people, however, mentioned "careful with your run-on sentences, you're full of them."

Now, run-on sentences (as well as comma-splices) happen when two independent clauses are fused together. *Independent* is the keyword here. I've sat down and checked every single one of the suspect run-on sentences/comma splices that they brought up to me. They were all occurring in situations such as "He did X,Y and Z." After explanation, it was clear that those clauses were not independent and could not be really split without changing their meaning.

This is not grammar vanity. The fact that the reader thought that it was a comma splice simply indicates that they failed to see the connection between the clauses. If the author has to sit down and explain what he meant with a sentence, then this sentence should probably be re-written! Thus, here I am asking if there are better and clearer ways to describe this kind of simultaneous action (and I guess that you, ostarella and Updog already answered my question! Thanks!). The rest would be a completely different question. I'm not saying that the flow is not important, it is just that I am not addressing it here.

Crono91 wrote:
> I grabbed my sword and dodged at an angle where I could lunge toward her. It all happened at once.
Yes, but it gets repetitive:

"Jhon did X, Y and Z. It all happened at once. Jane replied by doing A, B and C. It also happened at the same time. Jhon though ___, did I,J and K. That was also all at the same time."

So far I've been doing more or less what ostarella wrote. I invert things a bit:

"While doing X, Jhon did Y and Z. Jane replied by doing A at the same time as she did B and C. ___, thought Jhon as he did I,J and K."

Re: Action Writing

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:10 am
by ostarella
rlago wrote:
> I have a bunch of friends who have read the first 4 chapters of the
> novel. There was absolutely no complaint about clarity, slow pace, lack of substance
> in the text, lack of development, nothing of that sort. On the contrary, so far I've
> heard only praises (but then again, they are friends, they might be just being nice
> :P). Two people, however, mentioned "careful with your run-on sentences, you're
> full of them."
>

Yeah, friends and family typically aren't the best people for objectivity. However helpful they want to be, they don't want hurt feelings, or to seem like they're discouraging. Better to use places like this (and there are many others out there as well) that have relative strangers giving critiques (as well as the fact that most are either writers themselves or rabid readers). It's especially helpful if you can use groups that are familiar with the specific genre and the "norms" within.

Re: Action Writing

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:35 am
by rlago
ostarella wrote:
>However helpful they want to be, they don't want hurt feelings
Oooh, trust me, most of them are dying to hurt my feelings! :P
But I know what you mean.
I'll share some of it in here once I feel like it is ready. It might take some few eternities though.