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  1. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    Grammar English is not my main language but...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Inktail, Dec 22, 2016.

    I am not a writer but I am trying to write a sci-fi book because...I never enjoyed writing more in my life! xD
    I don't like writing on my own language because for it to sound good it has to be written poetry-like and I stink at that.
    I joined this forum to learn more about writing and I will probably need your help often as I keeg getting stuck in some sentences.
    For example: ...more energy than one could absorb at a time...
    It's just a fragment and I think you know what I am trying here, but I am stuck with the tenses.
    Is it could absorb or could have absorbed or?

    Warning: this probably won't be my last question, sorry guys and thank you. :-D'
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    ...more energy than one could absorb at a time...

    The way you have it written mixes two ideas that don't match. At a time indicates one incident of multiple events.

    ...more energy than one could absorb at a given time...
    ...more energy than one could absorb at a given moment...
    or just
    ...more energy than one could absorb ...

    The at a time part doesn't work with the rest of the sentence as you have it.

    could absorb or could have absorbed

    This part doesn't really matter. It can be either one or the other. The meaning doesn't change.
     
  3. Rani99

    Rani99 Member

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    I absolutely agree on wanting to write in english, it is the same for me, but it is very hard though... What's your native language?
    And also, I don't know where to ask, so I'll just ask here - when can I post my stories in the workshop? I've been here for a while but I still can't, maybe I should be more active in the forum? I have few examples of my writing style, but I can't decide which is the best and it would be the great to hear someone's opinion on them, so I could continue writing.
     
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You will have gotten a PM from me upon joining the forum. The info you seek regarding where and when one may post one's work is in that PM. ;)
     
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  5. Rani99

    Rani99 Member

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    Then I'm sorry for irrelevant question. Thank you!
     
  6. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    Oh, my bad. The ''one'' in the middle is meant to be a person, someone.
    Anyways, thanks a a lot, you made me feel welcome here. :)
     
  7. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    I am currently writing by hand before typing it all. I have only 8 pages of word so far, and a lot more in my notebook. I just leave lines in place of words I can't think of in that moment, I can, but I try to choose the perfect expressions. xD Google synonyms search is my best friend, lol.
     
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I understood this. This is a common phrasing. :)
     
  9. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    Oh, then I am gonna review it once again, thanks. ^^ Right now, I am reading some threads and started to worry about word number of my book. How do I 'feel' it will be enough? I am afraid it will turn out too short because no way I am describing color and temperature of every single rain drop, lol.
     
  10. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    Btw, the person is constantly absorbing energy, but they can release more while still absorbing the lesser amount...and I just confused myself. :/ Ok, I am going to remove this idea completely. xD
     
  11. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You shouldn't worry about length. Forcing a story to be longer than it wants to be (i.e. stuffing in words just to reach a word count) is not a good idea, it will only dilute the story and lower the quality (people will know if you forced words into the story). Write the story the way it wants to be written, and see where it takes you. Also, second, third, etc. drafts will change the word count as well, remember that.
     
  12. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    That's good to hear, thanks a lot. I never liked to force in more words, that's why my essay grades were awful, and why I don't want to write in my native language.
     
  13. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    How long do you want it to be?
    Do you want a lot of adjectives describing things; or do you want story?

    In your language, are adjectives used because of the writing form/style? English has many more words to describe things, than any language, and we get away with using few to describe something well.

    Here is an example from my life that may help you. I love language. I live in an area that has always been a hotbed for immigration. I have always helped people with English in exchange for how their language mechanics work.
    I have a very good friend from Vietnam, came here at about 5, in the wave of 'boat people'. He loves to write. He has a hard time writing. He has a hard time because, to him, Vietnamese is eloquent, but English is practical. When he came here to the US, there was only one 'red' in Vietnam, it was 'red'. Every village made a slightly different 'red'. If a pot broke and you wanted to replace it with the same hue, you took the pieces and travelled from village to village trying to match your 'red' to their 'red', until you finally find it.
    So, to him, he sees Vietnamese as a joy to read, but is frustrated that it takes five lines to describe something; where in English, it could be one line using adjectives. Consequently, his writing kind of bridges the two languages and doesn't make sense to native English speakers, but to other Vietnamese here, it makes sense.
     
  14. Quanta

    Quanta Member

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    My first language is French, but I enjoy writing in English because it feels more spontaneous, possibly because I read in English most of the time.
    Make sure you also find out the exact meaning of the synonym you're about to use, because they're not always interchangeable.
     
  15. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    Well, I am not sure, but all books people here write have a style like they were written 500 years ago. :/ I don't like that...
    That's a nice story you just told me, makes me think more about languages.

    I want a story, but because it's sci-fi including a completely different world and creatures it needs to be described. Aaaaargh all the infodumps that have to be avoided. xD

    Quanta, yes I make sure it's corresponding to the sentence. :-D

    Btw, I am stuck again by:
    ...it’s widest point was of the same width as the base. Uhh...is this even correct?
     
  16. Quanta

    Quanta Member

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    I would write down the story first and worry about grammar later.
    Meanwhile, you can find a good reference manual for English writing. My writing bible is "Writer's Companion" by Cortes and Miller. It is the book that has helped me the most with story writing and with writing the English language.
     
  17. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    Thanks, I'll look it up. And I agree, I'll first finish the notebook draft. Sorry for late reply, I didn't have access to internet these past few days.
     
  18. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    Can we say: Nor we still got a cure. ? I can't think of a flowing sentence for this. :confused:
     
  19. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Member

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    Yeah, no. Should be more like Nor do we have a cure anymore, or Nor do we still have a cure. Something along those lines. As is, my first thought was you typed 'nor' when you meant to type 'not', but that ended up making less sense.
     
  20. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Could you provide the sentence before this one to give some more context?
     
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  21. Inktail

    Inktail Member

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    It's supposed to mean they still haven't find the cure, yet. Sorry I am late, half of my touch screen broke. :/
     

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