1. amble
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    amble Member

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    Does this sentence read ok?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by amble, Jun 2, 2009.

    Hauntingly lit up, the man stood in the doorway, letting <characters> fear augment his slight stature.

    I'm trying to make it as though the fear is enhancing his stature to a bigger level. All suggestions appreciated and considered.
     
  2. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    You're probably going to have to give us some context; and, by <characters>, do you mean a character's name or something?--i.e., "... letting John's fear augment his (own? or John's) slight stature?
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, 'lit up' is a common expression that means the person is drunk... secondly, how could he know that the other person's fear is going to make him seem larger?... to make that work, you need to write this from the other character's pov... perhaps like this:

    He stood in the doorway. The light behind him, augmented by Harry's fear, made the slightly-built man appear larger, more threatening.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If the man is not the same as <character>, and I assume that is the case, then you really should be using two sentences instead of trying to jam the two thoughts into one sentence.

    Thought 1: man standing in doorway.
    Thought 2: character's reaction

    Hauntingly lit up has nothing to do with the man standing there, it is a component of <character>'s reaction, although silhouetted could be aspect of the man standing there.

    Don't just compound a sentence to reduce the sentence count. Compound it when the relationship between clauses would be lost if they stand as separate sentences. In this case, you have two separate subjects who can get blurred together by the joining.
     
  5. amble
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    amble Member

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    I genuinely haven't heard that expression before.


    Hmmm, I'm trying to write it from the silhouetted mans point of view, albeit knowing that the character is afraid of him. A side observation is that the main character has met the protaganist before, the reader does not know about this, but he still gets scared everytime he sees him.

    Any of these two particularly better?


    Thanks for all the help and advice.
     
  6. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Neither of those sentences are written from the man in the doorway's perception.

    If you were standing in a doorway with light streaming in behind you, your shadow would be cast over the room or ally, or where ever you are in a doorway. So seeing a silhouette would be from the other character who is feeling the fear.

    How does a doorway frame a silhouette? And what is set back in the shadows? The doorway? The Silhouette? The man?

    "He waited, allowing Tobys fear to climax, augmenting his slight stature."

    The way this reads, Toby's stature is the one being augmented. Because the term augmenting is Toby's perception of the man in the doorway.


    I would say try writing it from the other character's perception "Toby's". Just try it and see how it comes out. That seems to be what you are wanting to write it, not from the man in the doorway's perception. Try writing it a few times looking solely through the man in the doorway's eyes. What would he see and think and feel? It should sound a lot different, even in 3rd person POV.
     
  7. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    His slight stature enhanced by an unnatural light, he stood in the doorway and smiled wickedly as he realized how intimidating he seemed to <character>, who was standing before him, eyes wide and hands trembling.


    >< I had fun with this, so even if it's not what you were trying to get across, I enjoyed myself. :-D

    ~Lynn
     
  8. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Slang like this is local. I've never ran across it. I know people who've been across most of the world and can speak twenty languages - if they'd heard it, they'd have used it. And they haven't.

    It might get some giggles from immature readers in one small part of the world, but overall it won't affect much.
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm (sort of) English, and I've heard the expression lit up = drunk (or out of it on drugs) before, so it's not local! Maybe it's a bit dated, I don't know... It comes in a few songs as well I think.

    I also think a phrasal verb like 'lit up' used with more formal words such as 'augment' instead of 'add to', and 'stature' instead of 'height' makes for a bit of a bad combination stylistically.
     

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