1. Eldritch
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    Eldritch Member

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    Horrible Sentence.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Eldritch, Mar 31, 2011.

    I am writing a paragraph describing two deer that are grazing in a clearing, and it led to this horrible train-wreck of a sentence:

    "They grazed within inches of one another for security, but also to enjoy the warm presence of their partner at their side. "

    The wording just seems awkward to me. Saying "their partner" seems like the two of them collectively have a parter, and that would be a third deer. How do I word this so that it implies that they are enjoying each other's presence?
     
  2. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    They grazed only inches apart, each enjoying the comfort of the other's warm presence.

    That might not be perfect; I'm sure someone else can improve upon it.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Guamyankee is right, but instead of "other's," it would be "others'," with the ' on the outside of the "s", because it's plural possesssive (there is more than one other). :)
     
  4. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Compared to most of my awful sentences the prose in question reads like Steinbeck.
     
  5. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    I despise Steinbeck.

    "They grazed side by side, both for companionship and the security it offered."

    That's my reader's digest version. I'm sure you wanted some more description in there though.
     
  6. Bay K.
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    Bay K. Contributing Member

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    "but also to enjoy the warmth of each other's presence"
    or
    "but also to enjoy the warm presence of the other"
    or
    "but also to enjoy the comfort of the other's warm presence"
    You don't need 'at their side' because you've already mentioned that they're only inches apart.
    And it's each other's, not each others'. (The 'each' denotes singularity).

    Hope this helped a bit.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in the original, all you need do is change 'their partner' to 'a partner' and drop all the extraneous gluck after that, to have it make sense...

     
  8. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    Actually, no. There are only two deer in this situation, so "each enjoying the comfort of the other's warm presence" would be correct. Though perhaps a more appropriate word would be "both" rather than "each."
     
  9. Finhorn
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    Finhorn Senior Member

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    I'm a big fan of using two sentences. You have two ideas here, why not two sentences?

    Original
    "They grazed within inches of one another for security, but also to enjoy the warm presence of their partner at their side. "

    One Sentence (Ideas Combined)
    "They grazed within inches of one another for the sense of security that having a warm partner at their side brought."

    Two Sentences
    The two deer grazed within inches of one another. This closeness both reassured and protected them.
     
  10. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Just curious, what POV/perspective is the story written in, because if not intending to be omniscient, this could be seen as an interesting pov slip by effectively getting into the collective consciousness and motivations of deer.

    And perhaps you should 'show' their comfort and enjoying one another's company, not just stating it. Like they could give each other loving rubs on the back, or even share a nuzzle.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oh well. You're only 19 - I'm sure you'll get over this.

    ;)
     

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