1. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    Description... drawing a blank.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Norm, Jun 9, 2011.





    I am trying to very simply depict that the character is on his knees, stooped forward with his face resting on the floor. He is holding his left arm because it hurts for whatever reason.

    It's important that the reader understands this description because it is a cliffhanger 'til the next section of the novel. I guess what I'm wondering, is this a good way to describe it? I am drawing a total blank on perhaps a better word for bent over on one's knees.
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    "face pressed to the ground" would be better than "planted on the ground". To begin with, one plants IN the ground, not ON the ground, but never a face (unless it's attached to the rest of the body, or at the very least the head). "Pressed to the ground" establishes the position that you want, and it also suggests that pain is so bad that he has to do this to try to gain some relief. You may also (if it fits) want to use "fell to his knees and pressed his face to the ground" rather than "kneeled over". It implies a less voluntary action, which is common with sudden pain.
     
  3. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    Yes, but this description comes after a lot of chaos. I don't want the reader to see the characters during all this commotion, only the end result.

    Imagine like on TV when there is an explosion or a bright flash of light. You are usually not shown what's going on behind all the fireworks. Imagine that the TV screen shows all the destruction of whatever happened, and then fades into the main character who is down on the floor in the way I have described. Do you know what I mean? The hard part is finding a description of the action after it is already completed.

    EDIT: I agree with changing 'planted' to 'pressed', though.

    EDIT2: And I just realized I should change the tense of the sentence as well. I'll put up a revision for us to look at.

     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    "White-hot pain ebbed through Joe's arm as gravel bit into his knees. With his nose an inch away from the ground, he could smell the stale scent of dust. Pushing himself up would require arms, which at the moment, he didn't have. His right arm clutched at his wounded left, leaving him stuck on his knees with his face in the gravel."
     
  5. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    I have come up with something with the help of you two that I am fairly happy with.

    Any suggestions? I don't want to make it too much longer if at all because it's only meant to serve as a cliffhanger to the next part of the chapter.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Sounds great, but the last sentence feels a little grammatically off.

    "You...son of a..." The raspy words were lost between his teeth.
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Is there a reason the reader needs to know the floor was dust-covered?
     
  8. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    As a method of telling that time has passed. In the paragraph prior it refers to the moonlight being blocked out by a thick screen of dust. The fact that the dust is on the floor now shows that some time has passed - enough for the dust to settle. That way, they can assume that the pain the character is feeling from the injury is persistent.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... You've never heard of a faceplant (when you ax yourself)? Or a footplant (a skateboarding thingy)?

    You do have the option of just saying that the dust has settled?

    ____ clutches his arm (tell us which arm it is when the injury happens, if possible) in agony. He was kneeling, hunched over with his face pressed/planted (if planted was what you thought was right, I understand why and condone its use) against the floor. Dust, having settled into the carpet (/ onto the concrete/wood), rubbed into his skin. "You-" He grits his teeth. "Son of a-" He struggles to profane/speak.

    There's a few choices there, and yes, it is a little longer than the other stuff.

    Hopefully it helps a bit. Good luck.
     
  10. JennieRose8
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    JennieRose8 New Member

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    Well, you've impressed me. :) I need to remember in my own writing to include all of the senses in different situations. Description is probably where I fail the most.
     

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