1. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    I think this is clear but it doesn't flow.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by waitingforzion, May 31, 2016.

    Note: This is not for a story. This is just an exercise is writing a plain sentence and revising it to be more rhythmical.

    I wrote a sentence somewhat more poorly expressed than this, and then revised it to this, but I am not satisfied. It maybe clear, as I hope, but it does not flow to me. It does not have the fluid rhythm that I would like it to have. I am not sure how to rephrase it in order to give in a more fluid rhythm. It feels choppy to me and not at all eloquent, but I would like it to be eloquent.

    If you revise it, I would like you to attempt to preserve the parallel structure, and change only the rhythm of each clause.
     
  2. Copypasta
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    Copypasta Member

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    Does it have to be all one long sentence?
     
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  3. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you do not forgive me, you will not have peace, for by refusing to forgive me you are holding on to the offense, and by holding on to the offense you are wearying yourself, and by wearing yourself you are losing rest, and by losing rest you are coming short of denying only yourself peace.

    Think the first draft gets to the point, then belabors it with additional things. Just a thought
     
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  4. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    "Should you not forgive me, you shan't have peace; by refusing to, you maintain the offense; by maintaining it, you weary yourself; by wearing yourself, you want for rest; by wanting for rest you come short of peace."

    I think that's better, but my changing it doesn't help without some theory. Really all I did was rephrase the bits that felt off so they felt better. Tackling it clause by clause and reading it aloud after every change.
     
  5. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    It's been established in other threads by the OP that they're aiming for such a lyrical style. Arguably long winded or excessive, but it's the goal.
     
  6. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    I'm not trying to be redundant or anything. I'm just trying to make the point clear and complete, so that it explains that the exertion of energy is the cause for the lack of peace.

    I like NialRoache's version better than mine, but it is not entirely perfect. By avoiding the repetition of certain words it seems that you, NialRoach, have detracted from potential rhythmic effects. Of course, you may say that the repetition of words is always unwanted.
     
  7. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    It's not always unwanted, but I found the majority of words to just be cumbersome to repeat.
    "Holding on to the offence", "wearying yourself", both are just too long and bumpy to work for me. That's why I cut them, not to avoid repetition in general.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Bear in mind I've actually never tried to write in the style you want, okay, nor have I honestly ever read the King James Bible because I find the language all too hard to understand. In any case, here's an attempt at what I think might sound old-fashioned and poetic:

    Forgive not the offender, and peace shall elude you; that thorn in your side shall grow. Pain, there is no ceasing, and whence can rest be found? For the refusal to forgive is the refusal to cease. You weary yourself with your grudges, and rob yourself of peace.

    If you wanted the repetition, well lemme give it a go:

    Without forgiveness, there is no peace. Where there is unforgiveness, there is strive. Where there is strive, there is weariness. The weary cannot rest, and those who cannot rest never find peace.
    Nah, it doesn't really work. (the above attempt with the repetition)

    Forgive, lest your peace be robbed, for those who do not forgive do not have peace. If you feel robbed of some dignity, some respect, some courtesy that should have been yours, do you not realise that by holding onto your unforgiveness, you risk being robbed again? You weary yourself with these things, and in so doing rob yourself of rest. Where there is rest, there is peace, but we also know this: the weary do not rest. So whence come your peace, O weary one? Forgive, lest you rob yourself of peace.
    Hope at least one of these might help you some!
     
  9. frxntier
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    frxntier New Member

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    I can see what you’re trying to do here. It’s essentially the reasoning behind why “not forgiving” leads to “not peace”. But it seems like that’s the problem. “Not peace” isn’t really a concept. You really mean “conflict” or “unrest”. And “not forgiving” is really just “blame” or “punishment” or “resentment.”

    All of that crap is a roundabout way of saying this seems as though it would be better to not talk in the negative about the goals. “By NOT forgiving you will NOT find peace.”

    Also, you’ve really just defined certain weariness, I think. That is, weariness is the same as not having rest. It isn’t a logical step to go from weariness to a lack of rest, as those could be considered the same. The language should jump from one “symptom” to another.

    Thinking about the words, and the steps between them, I feel as though a better flow might be something like:

    “If you forgive me, you will find peace. For when you forgive, the offence will no longer weary you, and the weariness will no longer torment you, and the torment will no longer wake you, and you will find peace.”

    OR cut the opener altogether, which is really just a summary. Therefore:

    “If you forgive me, the offence will no longer weary you, and the weariness will no longer torment you, and the torment will no longer wake you, and you will find peace.”

    I guess as an alternative, you could continue the negative on the two goals, and switch everything in between for a better flow:

    “If you do not forgive me, the (“or my”) offence will weary you, and the weariness will torment you, and the torment will wake you (or “keep you awake”, to break up the rhythm a touch), and you will not find peace.”

    With “never” and “always” as opposed to “do not”, which can be more powerful, as well as adding the opening summary:

    “If you never forgive me, you will never find peace, for if you never forgive me, the offence will always weary you, and the weariness will always torment you, and the torment will always wake you , and you will never find peace.”

    Hope these ideas help. :)
     
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  10. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    It seems that my grasp of logic is a bit poor. I was not optimistic that the reader would infer a lack of rest from weariness, and I did not realize that rest and peace were not synonymous, even though in the back of my mind I knew that.

    I read a book on clarity and grace, which I need to read again, but it does not cover matters of logic. It only covers how to express propositions clearly, concisely, and gracefully. It does not cover the logic of those propositions. Does anyone know of any books that would be helpful?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  11. waitingforzion
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    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Is that clear?
     
  12. Romana
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    Romana Member

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    No, it isn't clear, but here is why:

    I will tell you my truth, but you will not receive my truth, for of old you have known it but have ever gone against it; shall you now receive it? Nay, for against my truth you are firmly minded; even the truth of our friendship that you have ended -- thinking that in kindness you have severed a man from an unhealthy bond, when in judgment you have disowned him, imputing to him the mind of the unstable, where the emotions are ever cycling, swelling up and bringing him to the way of menacing, which way is not of him whom you have severed.

    The black part is fine. I made a few changes that help with your flow: deleted the comma between "known it" and "but have ever," and added semicolons (which cut down on those clunky conjunctions). "Nay, for against my truth you are firmly minded" is a complete clause. If you put a comma after this but have no conjunction, you'll create a run-on, which muddies the water, so to speak. So I put a semicolon there, too. In blue is one clause that you started, and in green is the complex subject of that clause. Also, "which" is generally proceeded by a comma whereas "that" is not. In this case, "that" is more correct than "which."
    I added a dash instead of a comma, as dashes can help separate thoughts when there are an abundance of commas. With so many commas, it was nigh impossible for me to distinguish where one clause ended and another began, and now that I've added the dash (and also color-coded a little), I see why that was so difficult. You don't actually have any complete clauses in the last part.

    Now of course, I may have misinterpreted your words. You may have intended for it to read like this:

    Nay, for against my truth you are firmly minded, even the truth of our friendship -- which you have ended, thinking that in kindness you have severed a man from an unhealthy bond, when in judgment you have disowned him, imputing to him the mind of the unstable, where the emotions are ever cycling, swelling up and bringing him to the way of menacing, which way is not of him whom you have severed.

    I made the clause blue, and added a dash where there once was a comma. With the sheer number of commas you have, it is difficult for me as a reader to distinguish what is an independent clause, what is a dependent clause, and what is neither. The dash does change the emphasis slightly, adding more emphasis to both the friendship and the fact that "you" ended it. However, I don't think the sentence suffers for it; quite the opposite, really. (Obviously, from my initial interpretation) I did not know where the emphasis belonged before, but now it is obvious.

    I know you are looking to create grace and lyricism in your writing, and I'm afraid that in order for grace and lyricism to be, some clarity must be sacrificed. However, I also firmly believe that if you simply add variety to your punctuation (chill a little on the commas), then the meaning of your writing will become much more clear -- and your flow will be improved by it, too!
     
  13. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's clear, but it took too long to read and comprehend because of the archaic language. You have to ask yourself whether the average reader from your intended audience would be willing to be in that much effort to understand what's going on. In my opinion, you spend way too much time focusing on rhythm and eloquence that you often neglect accessibility. I would highly recommend focusing on clarity over rhythm for the time being.
     
  14. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    By not forgiving me you will never know peace. In your refusal, you hold onto my sin, unable to forget the wrong I've committed. You nurture your feelings of anger, hatred, and hurt thereby losing the serenity you once held so dear. Unable to move forward now you are now caught in a never ending cycle of injustices done against you and by your own actions you will not know peace until you are able to let go.
     

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