1. slockmn
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    slockmn New Member

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    Are my sentance/paragraph beginings rubbish?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by slockmn, Dec 20, 2011.

    I really think my beginings to sentances/paragraphs arn't very good.

    Here is an extract from what I'm writing with the real names changed:

    Opening the door of Garry's room, she stepped out and looked around the hall to see if anyone was there. There wasn’t. She turned around and closed the door quietly as to not wake anyone from sleep. As she turned around to walk to her own room, there, right in front of her, was Jen.

    Is this good, acceptable or just plain rubbish?
     
  2. Blue Night
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    Blue Night Active Member

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    Just food for thought.

    How does someone go from this:
    I really think my beginings to sentances/paragraphs arn't very good.
    There are 3 spelling errors.

    To this:
    Opening the door of Garry's room, she stepped out and looked around the hall to see if anyone was there. There wasn’t. She turned around and closed the door quietly as to not wake anyone from sleep. As she turned around to walk to her own room, there, right in front of her, was Jen.
    There are 0 spelling errors.

    Now for what you have submitted.

    You have spelled every word correctly. That’s always a good start. It immediately tells me you make an honest effort to put your best work forward. To me, that’s admirable. A well worded document is always a good start. Trust me, you will quickly see otherwise around here.

    In the context you have presented, the punctuations are in respective order.

    I would replace one of the earlier ‘she’s with the characters name.

    I’m feeling a paragraph break is in order. I’m leaning toward the last sentence but I will leave that to someone with a better eye.

    As a whole, I find it compelling. I’m already wandering if she did the tango with Jen’s boyfriend. But that’s the fun part about it. It’s left to the imagination.

    My comments are toward the writing as you have submitted.

    Personally, I like it. I say ‘good’.
    You get my vote.
     
  3. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Not bad. There is some excess. Example - 'as to not wake anyone from sleep.' You could probably chop off that last prep phrase; it's obvious when she's trying not to wake people that they're asleep. You use 'turned around' twice, which makes me think of someone turning completely around. Turned would be less wordy and better convey your intent.
     
  4. Blue Night
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    Blue Night Active Member

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    Good eye erik. That's the eye I don't have.
     
  5. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I think most of the above edits will speak for themselves. If not, ask. As for the last sentence, I think you need to completely redo it. It seems to be a sentence meant to convey some shock, but phrased as it is, it doesn't deliver. I don't think you need to split it from the paragraph. Do not use a to-be verb to introduce Jen, try an action verb (i.e., She turned and there stood Jen leaning against the mahogany walls draped in shadow and watching her with a curious, deceitful grin.), but not my poor example please. :)

    On another note, watch for repetitiveness (door x2, turned x2, around x3, room x2, anyone x2 in four sentences), needless words (turned around), and your explanations (looked around the hall to see if anyone was there, quietly as to not wake anyone up, she turned around to walk to her own room).
     
  6. iabanon
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    iabanon Member

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    It's a very passive start and I can't say I like it. I advise a rethink to your start. Don't use redundancies. Keep it tight.
     
  7. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Something else to note ... this kind of setup (where the character looks in the room (hall), it's empty, turns and looks again, and someone/something is there) is somewhat cliché, very much overdone in movies.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how can all of that underlined action be taking place at the same time as she is opening the door?... obviously, it can't!... but that's what the words you wrote mean... which is why starting a sentence with an 'ing' verb is almost always nonsensical and poor writing...

    for various other reasons, the sentences/paragraph are not good, not acceptable, yet not quite total rubbish... along with the above, here's some of the other reasons why:

    repeating/reversing 'was there' isn't as good/visual/impactful/direct as, 'It was empty/deserted.'...or something similarly more visual...

    1. 'she turned around' is an example of what i call 'breathe in/breathe out' writing, or 'micro-managing'... the inclusion of every single little bodily movement that we could otherwise assume for ourselves, makes for a boringly slow read, since we're slowed down by all the unnecessary minutiae and kept from zipping right along with the 'real' action...

    2. 'as to' needs to be 'so as to' to make sense...

    3. 'wake anyone from sleep' is both redundant and silly, since what else could they be awakened from, a coma?...

    1. for the same reason as you should not start a sentence with an 'ing' verb, you should also not start one with 'as'... aside from the fact that you've already used one 'as' and probably have strewn the rest of your writing with that pesky, most often badly used/overused little word...

    2. you have her turning around again, which is boring and repetitive [see #1 above]...

    3. 'there, right in front of her' is another instance of the wordiness prob...

    here's just one way you could make it more reader-friendly:

    ...the problem with the jen bit is that if she's not supposed to be a ghost, or have magical powers, how could she appear out of nowhere, in the split second after the unnamed girl saw the hall was empty?...
     

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