1. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Amount of details in short stories.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by DeadMoon, Dec 11, 2014.

    I would like to get some feed back on the subject of the amount to descriptive detail used in short stories. I wrote the following paragraph (in bold) for no real reason and no certain direction just basically wrote it to write something, anyway once I wrote it I sat back to read it and instantly thought that it was to descriptive like I was trying to hard... I did not edit this at all yet just curious on if other think this may be to descriptive also .
    thank you for your feedback


    The early morning sun produces radiant streaks of oranges, yellows, pinks and reds overtaking the bleak darkness to once again merge seamlessly over the calm lake. There is a slight chill in the still air causing small puffs of translucent clouds to escape from a young mans mouth. He turns his back to the light not yet ready to face the impending day. In the distance, songs of seagulls and loons fill the silence, distracting him only for a brief moment from the relentless voices that remind him, mocking him endlessly.

    He wears a long, heavy, black trench coat over his small frame, it lightly sweep across the neglected foliage of the waterfront.


     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a phrase, "purple prose" that I think might be useful... it connects to that idea of trying too hard.

    I don't think this quantity of description is necessarily a problem, but it does feel quite purple, to me. Like you're just throwing EVERYTHING at the page.

    (You also might want to look at apostrophe use (for possessive) and comma splice rules.)
     
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  3. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the help, grammar is a large weak point for me so any pointers are much appreciated.
     
  4. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    "In the distance, songs of seagulls and loons fill the silence, distracting him only for a brief moment from the relentless voices that remind him, mocking him endlessly. "

    Without more of the story I would not be able to critique what you have written but Bayview probably is on target. I am a bit confused by your quoted sentence above, remind him of what? I feel like that was not revealed and should be.
     
  5. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's unfinished, just didn't want to get too far with it when I had such doubt about how I was writing, usually I go a different direction style of writing.
     
  6. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I can tell you're focusing hard on grammar, but make sure you tone down the fluff. It feels like we're listening to a slow jazz audio-book that goes on forever instead of an intriguing story. It's not bad though, just needs to be reworked.
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not fond of the use of present tense. On a specific point, "There is a slight chill in the still air causing small puffs of translucent clouds... " seems to make the chill in the air too active...as if it's deliberately and spitefully causing the small puffs..."The slight chill in the still air causes..."
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Bayview's right, it's a little purple. But the good thing is your instinct was right as well.
    I think the main issue is that it's stuffed with too many modifiers and a lot of them are too familiar -
    .

    Maybe try creating an atmosphere for your character and use words and images he'd use and compare things too. Right now it's feeling too stuffy, it's trying to be writerly and avoiding character. But if he said something like - The morning sun puked colors across the sky - I'd have an idea of who he was.
     
  9. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you all for your help on this one. I can see and understand everyone points and I hope it leads to me becoming a stronger writer, I am glad I joined this board.
     

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