1. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    is this sentence correct.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by heyharris1, Aug 26, 2008.

    will this sentence work? will the reader understand shes comparing the streaks of water to the slug/snail tracks she finds on her bedroom floor.

    The streaks left on the window by the rain reminded her of the occasional trail she found on her bedroom floor, only not as sticky.

    thank you all
    jim
     
  2. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Probably a bit ambiguous, but that's just me. Also, this should go in the grammar section.
     
  3. stoned4assassin20
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    stoned4assassin20 Member

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    If you had not told me that she is comparing the streaks to the trail left by a slug, I would not have any clue what the sentence is referring to. While subtlety may be all the rage, it is important to fashion your sentences in a way that provides easy extraction of the meaning. Your reader should not have to stop and contemplate the meaning of the sentence. Strive for lucidity and concision. I think this sentence is too vague, assuming that there is not ample contextual information to infer the meaning of this allusion.
     
  4. mooncloud
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    mooncloud Member

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    I thought it was ambiguous as well. How about this: "The rain streaks left on the window reminded her of the occasional slug trail she found on her bedroom floor."
     
  5. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Or even better: "The condensation of rain-drops sluiced like slippery slug trails down the window."
     
  6. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    I started reading your explanation and stopped so I could read the sentence without being swayed. It made sense to me but I'd have to say it doesn't flow as smoothly as it could and may need a little jigging. When I connected the trails left by the rain drops on the window to snails' trails (<-- so fun to say!) I had to wonder what the rest of the setting looked like. Strange to have snails in your bedroom :)
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The sentence itself is clear enough. It would require a context clue given beforehand that snails/slugs had in fact been leaving tracks on the floor. If there is no previous mention of said tracks or their cause, then the answer is no, the sentence by itself does not contain enough relevant data for the reader to draw the conclusion you wish.
     
  8. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    I changed the sentence to this instead. I think it reads beter.


    The streaks left on the window by the rain reminded her of the occasional slug trail she found on her bedroom floor, only not as sticky.

    jim
     
  9. theassassin
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    theassassin Member

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    This is how I would put it:

    "The streaks on the window left by the rain, reminded her of the occasional slug trail she found on her bedroom floor."

    I'd stratch the last phrase.
     
  10. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Your sentence is too long and tedious to read, and it strains the eye.

    Also, in real life, dripping rain do not look like trails of slug; neither do they streak.

    I think it's better if you reword or craft your sentence from scratch. Omit needless words. Your sentence will bog down your entire story, because no one really wonders about how rain looks like, unless it has something to do with the overall plot. Why not write: rain tapped against the window, instead, for when I think of rain, I hear it, before I see it. I even smell rain before I see it, know what I mean? I can care less how rain looks like: I just need to know it's raining.

    Or how about: it showered as if God was weeping trails of slugs, tapping against the window.
     
  11. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    good point. the main reason why i put the slug part in cause im using it to help explain the crappy enviroment she is forced to live in. IE: dirt floor, old bare wooden walls,no heat. since a slug would live in a dirty damp enviroment.
    jim
     
  12. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    This is how I would write it "Seeing the streaks left on the window by the rain, she was reminded of the sticky slug trails that she found in her room every now and then."
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or perhaps something like "The streaks left on the window by the rain were clear and smooth, unlike the sticky trails the slugs used to leave on her bedroom floor."
     
  14. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    you all got some great ways to rewrite stuff, thanks for all the advice
    jim
     
  15. AmberDextrose
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    AmberDextrose Member

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    How about "the rain streaks on the window reminded her that she needed some slug pellets for the bedroom"?

    If you haven't already stressed the environment, this could be a subtly good one. Certainly your reader will be thinking "why does she have slugs in her bedroom?" which is a good set up. Plus it makes for blacker humour which conversely creates greater empathy for her dire situation.
     
  16. penhobby
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    penhobby Contributing Member

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    Harris, I hope you take this in gentle manner it is intended. It is very difficult to correct or restructure a sentence without the entire story line to help us see your vision. What you are asking us to do is nearly impossible. You are also in danger of losing your creative voice to all the suggestions given by those just trying to help. They are not bad suggestions, some are quite good, but are they yours? Do they contain your voice?

    A better method would be to read your writing as the reader it is intended for, without you the author intruding, or present the story to us as a whole and not just one sentence, because in the end you are only hurting yourself and hampering the ability of the reviewer to truly help you.
     
  17. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    im not upset, what you said is more true than not. its hard to tell without the big picture what is going on.
    jim
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have to ditto pen's wise words...

    and i'd strongly suggest rethinking the whole slug/snail bit... where is this scene taking place?... i've lived and stayed in many fairly 'primitive' places around the globe where they're found outside and rarely, if ever seen a trail indoors...

    and when trails are left, they dry fairly quickly, leaving a sort of shiny mark that might look sticky/slimy, but really isn't, unless you touch it right after the snail passes by...
     
  19. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with pen and the others . . . the sentence can't stand alone. It requires additional context if your goal is to use snail tracks as an anology.

    Also, rain rarely leaves visible streaks on clean windows. The window must be dirty, and then, the streaks would be numerous vertical, parallel lines in the dirt or grime, as opposed to the single snail track that usually wanders aimlessly in many directions. No matter how you restructure the sentence, the rain track/snail analogy doesn't make sense to me.
     
  20. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    As I said--the simile's a quite good; it just doesn't fit.

    It doesn't connect with what you're trying to protray.

    Rain does not drip like slugs, sadly.
     
  21. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    Raindrops sliding down a windowpane, however, could indeed start to resemble slugs, right down to the thin trail of water often briefly left behind them.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not really, since a raindrop's trail is continuous, not broken, like a slug/snail 'trail'...
     
  23. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    It would be enough to make the simile, I think, particularly if the character's bedroom is infested with slugs'n'snails... They'd come readily to mind, I mean.
     
  24. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I don't think the sentence is too long. But it sounds to me like it is saying rain streaks are not as sticky as slug streaks. Rain streaks are not sticky at all.

    I think the comparison works. Often times when I stared at my window, the streaks of rain reminded me of snail trails. However it seems most people would not make this comparison, so I would consider dropping it.

    Perhaps you could do something like this, but in your own words.

    The streaks of rain slid down her window, oddly enough, they reminded her of the occasional slug trail left on her bedroom floor.

    This would also say something about her personality.
     

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