1. mashers
    Offline

    mashers Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    82

    Is it clear that this isn't really happening?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mashers, Jul 3, 2016.

    This passage is intended to communicate the panic being experienced by the character. What is being described in the part in red is not actually happening, either literally or figuratively. My question is, is it clear that this is a description of his feelings rather than of an actual event? This is in the context of hard sci-fi not fantasy, and the character snaps back to reality immediately after this description.

     
  2. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,664
    Likes Received:
    5,159
    It would probably depend on context. If this is toward the end of a text that clearly had no supernatural or scifi-mind-melding-with-data elements, I'd probably read it as figurative language, no problem. But if it was closer to the start of the book, when I still wasn't quite sure what was going on, I can see it being confusing.
     
  3. mashers
    Offline

    mashers Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    82
    That is exactly the context. He's literally typing on a computer terminal. The following paragraph should clarify as it begins, "He snapped back to reality as the terminal chimed."

    Thanks for your answer :)
     
  4. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    1,250
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    I think you can solve the ambiguity problem by changing a single word at the beginning.

    Arlo felt imagined the narrow,
     
  5. mashers
    Offline

    mashers Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    82
    I did consider using 'imagined', but to me this suggested that he pictured it in his mind. I want to communicate that this is more of a sensation rather than him actually picturing it happening.
     
  6. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,664
    Likes Received:
    5,159
    You could use the old "practically" or "almost" trick - He could practically feel or he could almost feel.

    As I said, I think it's okay as it is. But if you wanted to take a half-step back..
     
  7. Nightstar99
    Offline

    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    136
    I would say "Arlo felt as though..." and then carry on from there. If its a metaphor it needs to be clear.
     

Share This Page