1. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    blergh, run on sentence

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Melzaar the Almighty, Mar 28, 2011.

    I am too tired to deal with it. :p

    Need a way to not just start with skin and go a whole 2-part description before I bring it up again. It's quite a soft paragraph - a waking up moment after stressful times, so I don't want to chop it into too many pieces, but my only fix I can see involves 2 new full stops, bringing the action forward and saving a mention of her tan until later.

    In wider context, since people always seem to bring it up when I post broken sentences here:

    (and yes she did get a neat suntan overnight. Magic was involved. :p)
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Her hood fell back and exposed the lightly tanned skin on her arms. They were much better at dealing with the strong sun, than when they had been that clammy colour.
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmmm..

    I want all the description in there still. :p I don't have much in this novel, comparatively, so I'm keeping what I get. :p Let's see how your new order works... The hood falling back as the first action definitely flows on from the previous sentence better.

    All still one sentence, but it reads more logically and dammit I'm letting myself have a long sentence or 20 after all the running around in sand storms and attempted rape scenes of the last dozen pages. :p

    Unless there are disagreements I'm going to stick with this... I am very tired, so there might still be a problem I've not noticed... I normally can do all these thought processes in seconds and without working them out on paper first. It's kinda like counting out 2+2 on my fingers...

    Edit:

    yeah :)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    FYI, that isn't a run on sentence. A run on sentence is when a sentence continues into another sentence without a sentence-ending punctuation mark. Comma splices are run on sentences this is also a run on sentence.
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whatever there was too many words in it in all the wrong order. :p

    Edit: "light-yl"? I need to go to bed... :p

    Edit Edit: in case anyone comes by and tells me I've borked the follow-on sentence:

     
  6. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    Her hood fell back, and her sleeves slid down her arms to expose lightly-tanned skin. Better at coping with the strength of the sun, it was no longer the clammy color it had once been. On top of it all, the curls of her hair glowed as red as the sand around her.

    There ya go.
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha ha, I just noticed your signature. :D

    Those were the 2 full stops I was trying to avoid, but thanks. :p
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha ha, I just noticed your signature. :D

    Those were the 2 full stops I was trying to avoid, but thanks. :p
     
  9. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Her hood fell back and her sleeves slid down her arms, exposing the lightly-tanned skin, no longer the clammy colour it had been and better at coping with the strength of the sun.

    Sleeves sliding down expose more skin? Less, surely. You would certainly be advised to get rid of the the, above. Even without the the, the :eek: comma after skin and the flow of the sentence at that point is not wholly delightful.


    Her hood fell back and her sleeves rode up her arms, exposing skin that was no longer clammily pallid but lightly-tannned and better able to cope with the sun.

    her arms..could eliminate
     
  10. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. She has just flung her arms up into the air, so the action her sleeves would take would be a downwards motion. To me saying "rode up" seems more of an action of annoying sliding over time to induce discomfort. Being a girl who had to wear a tube-shaped skirt to school, I am well-used to riding up. :p

    I guess changing it to "slid up" might work, if we can get a count of people who'd interpret that as sliding towards her centre despite that being below them, versus how many see it as literally up... I know the context is reasonably clear, but readers including myself are idiots, and I hate making anything that could be the smallest stumbling block to the flow of ideas.

    Hmm. Now I feel I have a personal vendetta against this sentence for annoying me. :p
     
  11. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's clear that she's just flung her arms up in the air then slid down will work very happily.
    Not something to lose too much sleep over. Some, maybe.
     
  12. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure why you are trying to write such a long sentence in the first place. What's wrong with 2-4 sentences giving this wealth of detail? You've already been given a few nice examples. Shorter sentences are much more attractive to read IMO.
     
  13. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    I think there is a problem with this sentence too.
    The air was dry and hot; it didn’t feel intent on murdering her like it had the day before, but felt rather pleasant.

    The air did not feel intent on murdering her?
     
  14. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trust me, it did the day before. :p
    I feel like a long sentence, is all. :D I've spent like 7 years training myself not to, and now I'm confident that I catch 99% of the accidental ones, so I'm heading back into using long long sentences for effect now. :p
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, that's a poor reason for writing a poorly structured, over-crammed, too-long sentence... the only 'effect' such sentences will likely have is to annoy the reader and make agents and publishers toss your work in the round file...

    certainly longish sentences can work well when interspersed with medium and short ones, but long ones don't work when stuffed with too much stuff that doesn't all have to be put into a single sentence...
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Respect the power of the simple declarative sentence.
     
  17. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    A thirty odd word sentence containing a few readily graspable ideas is dangerously long?
    Oh my.
     
  18. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure, but I'm not writing my whole novel in them. And this is a restful piece of description after a long action-packed sequence and I want it to be long, darnit. :p Variation is the key to good writing, and as you can see, the following sentence is one of the shorter ones that come out of my pen. I'm not drowning no one in purple prose here.

    This sentence comes roughly 110,000 words into the novel, so anyone who decides to put it down for a tiny pedantic factor after reading THAT much is a total moron. If they were looking for a reason to hate me they'd have dropped the book somewhere on the first page, and I've combed over the opening a dozen times already and neatened it all up. :p Nervy "please like me!" introduction, exciting "see, worth reading!" middle, and "I'm gonna be myself now, thanks!" ending. :p

    Also it occurs to me that I write sentences that are like, 100 words long sometimes if I'm not concentrating, so this one really is small fry. :p
     
  19. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Her sleeves slid down her arms and exposed skin that was no longer the clammy colour it had been before but was now lightly-tanned, better at coping with the strength of the sun.
     

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