1. Stammis
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    Stammis Contributing Member

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    My grammar sucks

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Stammis, Dec 12, 2015.

    I have been told that my grammar is not very good so I would like to remedy that. Especially I'd like to know if I am using semicolons right.

    This is the first paragraph of the first chapter.

    The room is dark, with only a few candles illuminating the room around his desk. An elderly man is bent over a piece of parchment; copying the words from the book next to him. Suddenly a gush of wind extinguishes the light and scatters the papers, and pages, on the desk as a door opens in the hallway. The old man sighs heavily, grabbing his neck long beard; knowing exactly how much time it will take to organise them again. As he stands up and enters the hallway he is met by a young boy in his early teens; removing his water soaked jacket.

    I am also having difficulty in how to start the chapter. "The candles around his desk illuminates the blackness in the room." does this sound better then the first sentence above?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Semi-colons link two independent and related clauses.

    Example: "An elderly man is bent over a piece of parchment; his words are copied from the book next to him."

    Also, the commas setting aside "and pages" should not be there.

    "Suddenly a gush of wind extinguishes the light, and also scatters the papers and other pages on the desk as a door opens in the hallway."

    A comma for the second-last semi-colon (should hyphenate "neck long" too). No punctuation is needed for the last sentence.

    Some thing more active, maybe, for the first sentence, like "A few candles illuminate the space at his desk in the dark room." Or, "A few candles illuminate the dark room from his desk," depending on your meaning, not that either of these are the only acceptable way, just more concise examples.
     
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