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  1. Daniel W
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    Daniel W Member

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    How can i write this to make more sense?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Daniel W, May 15, 2008.

    This is describing the Target in 'Wingball', the sport playing by Revants in my novel. I need help on being able to shorten it or make it sound more professional and easier to understand.

    Now Elthein was heading towards the first Target. He once again marvelled at how clever the invention was, which Oraan, the village smith, had made.
    There were two thick wooden posts hammered into the ground, about 2 metres apart. At the top of the posts, a thin steel bar was hammered into the side of each of them, creating the shape of a doorway. In the middle of the steel bar, was a loose ring hanging around it. Hanging from the ring was a length of rope half a metre long, with a leather ball about two times the size of an average persons head attached to the end of it.
    Elthein was required to make sure that the leather ball hanging from the rope was able to swing around the horizontal bar easily. This was because, in order to score, you would have to throw or hit the leather ball, which the game is played with, into the hanging ball on the rope. If the ball swings right over the horizontal bar, one point is scored. It isn’t the easiest thing to do, which is why the game requires a lot of skill and strength.
     
  2. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    My heart in on the shores of Gitchee-Gume, my body
    "Elthein ran towards the first Target and threw the leather ball. It hit the hanging orb hard, causing it to swing over the steel bar of the gate. His team cheered. Another point!

    He saw Oraan smiling by the sidelines. The smith brimmed with pride at the enjoyment the village lads got from his invention."

    Bascially, show it with action. And you might just cut that part about Oraan or have him coaching instead (since he'd know the rules pretty well). We jsut need to know the thing looks like a gate and there's a ball.
     
  3. Daniel W
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    Daniel W Member

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    That's a great idea. I was going to explain the other rules of the game through action, like the ball not being able to hit the ground, and anyone can tackle as hard as they want, but i guess i'll put that into it as well.
    Thank you.
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Daniel,

    From your comment, I think you missed an important point. The improvements by MumblingSage reflect a completely different use of verbs...its not just about using "action" to describe events or characters.

    Here is a comparative list of verbs:

    Your version used 23 verbs: most in passive context and repeated far too often...here are the problem verbs: was heading, was, had made, were, was hammered, was, was, was required, was able, was because, is played, is scored, isn't, is, is why.

    Also, "hammered" and "was hammered" were repeated in back to back sentences.

    Now look at MumblingSage's re-write. 9 verbs...virtually ALL active verbs! (ran, threw, hit, causing, to swing, cheered, saw, brimmed, got)

    It is not enough to simply restructure your sentences to portray action. If you continue using passive verbs in the process to describe that action, your story will lose its reading appeal. Study MumblingSage's use of verbs and apply those lessons to the rest of your story.

    .....NaCl

    ps One of the best ways to teach readers about the rules of a game is to have players complain about "fouls" called against them. This builds tension into the game scene and teaches rules at the same time.
     
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  5. Daniel W
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    Daniel W Member

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    I posted that paragraph here because i knew my use of verbs was too high, and many were repeated. I could have just left it, but i knew it didn't sound right, so i needed help.
    I can tell you that repeated verbs don't usually come up in my stories, because i know that it just sounds plain bad. I wouldn't like to read it myself. But when it comes to describing things like this which are completely made up and have complex parts to it, i have trouble getting it right.

    Plus, there are no coaches or refs in this. Of course, you're not allowed to cut someones head off to get the ball. The Revants are a fair race and wouldn't do much wrong. They are also tougher than humans, and could easily take a fall and land on their head and walk away from it. Their necks are a lot stronger than humans. So are their whole body. That's what allows them to play 2 hour games of wingball without needing any rest. Of course, all this wasn't included in the paragraph, because it's not what i needed help with.
     

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