1. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Choppy paragraph

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Stammis, Dec 13, 2015.

    Does this paragraph seem choppy? should I use something else other than punctation when I try to create dramatic pause?

    What is happening is other worldly by the way, to hint towards that the Grand Master has powers that the MC have not previously realised. Kind of like when Gandalf seem to grow and the room becomes darker when Biblo refuse to hand over the ring in the first book of the trilogy.

    "Come now, you cannot seriously believe thats the truth? You always taught me to…” Suddenly his words are stuck in his throat. The Grand Master red eyes turns darker. His eyes pierces through him. It hurts. It is difficult to breath. Hate. There is only hatred in his eyes. The pressure disappears when The Grand Master starts blinking and looks around, as if he was transported somewhere else, to another time, for just a moment. He looks at Fendrael again and finds fear in his eyes. “I am sorry…” he says, looking into the fire. A rare show of weakness that Fendrael has never seen before. “You know I would gladly talk with you on any matter, just not about them.
     
  2. uncephalized
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    uncephalized Active Member

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    There were several errors I noticed, and the use of present tense always jars me a bit until I get used to it, but I wouldn't call it choppy. It made sense what was going on and the rhythm was fine as long as you meant for it to feel somewhat tense, which I think you did.

    Read on for pedantic and nitpicky critique...

    That said I would change several things to make it read even better.

    First, fix the actual errors: missing apostrophes in "that's the truth" in the first sentence and "Grand Master's eyes" in the third; "difficult to breathe" (verb), not "breath" (noun); "eyes pierce", not "eyes pierces". And technically the "rare show of weakness" sentence is a fragment. I don't get too bothered about those personally, but it's best to use them intentionally for emphasis rather than by accident.

    Stylistically, I'd lose both ellipses in the dialogue. The first would read better with an em dash: "always taught me to--" fits better with the next sentence. I'd also lose "suddenly" in the next sentence (it doesn't really add immediacy, it just distracts from the real focus of the sentence), and use active voice: "The words stick in his throat". I'd combine the next two sentences to make them read more clearly and avoid the repetition of "eyes" so close together: "The Grand Master's red eyes darken and pierce through him." Or "...eyes darken, piercing through him."

    There is a lovely natural dramatic pause right after "only hatred in his eyes." I'd break a new paragraph there. And the next sentence would be really good with some tightening up. Drop "starts blinking" in favor of "blinks", and rearrange a bit: "The Grand Master blinks and looks around, as if transported somewhere else, to another time, for just a moment. The pressure disappears." The next sentence is fine. But get rid of the ellipse and just use a comma. The fragment here could also be combined with the preceding sentence with an em dash. And don't forget to close the quotes at the end!

    All together I'd revise it thusly:

    "Come now, you cannot seriously believe that's the truth? You always taught me to--” The words stick in his throat. The Grand Master's red eyes darken, piercing him. It hurts. It is difficult to breathe. Hate. There is only hatred in his eyes.

    The Grand Master blinks and looks around, as if transported somewhere else, to another time, for just a moment. The prrssure disappears. He looks at Fendrael again and finds fear in his eyes. “I am sorry,” he says, looking into the fire--a rare show of weakness that Fendrael has never seen before. “You know I would gladly talk with you on any matter, just not about them."


    Sorry to go on so!
     
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  3. Ippo
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    Ippo Member

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    I, too, thought that the flow was really okay. However, I had told you before and that matter is still an issue in your writing: Study on when to add an s to the end of a verb and when not to. Seriously, your writing is always gonna read clumsy if you don't learn the basics of proper grammar.
     
  4. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    Thank you very much for that detailed explanation! I got to say that it feels a lot better trying to improve my writing when my draft and most of the story is already worked out. And it is very reassuring that you enjoyed the natural pause there. It felt like a stroke of genius when I wrote it.
     
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