1. Jon Deavers
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    Jon Deavers Member

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    Need help with a sentence describing a room

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Jon Deavers, Dec 30, 2012.

    So I'm trying to describe a floor in the sentence below and I'm not happy with how it sounds.

    "The hall’s floor was a caramel bamboo parquetry and three long cherry wood tables sat arranged in a half moon shape at the far end."

    The part in italics seems clunky to me. What's a good substitute there? I was thinking of incorporating "laid" somehow but not sure if it works or not.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's indeed a clunky sentence... here's one way to de-clunk it:

    'carmel' and 'bamboo' make little to no sense and i see no good reason for them being there... and precious little reason for even needing to mention the floor at all, unless it figures in the plot some way i can't imagine... if it is, then i'd go with two sentences:

    note that 'cherrywood' is one word, not two... hope this helps...
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Maia beat me to it. One sentence for the floor, one for the furnishings. Far better than one overworked, breathless jumble.
     
  4. domenic.p
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    domenic.p Banned

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    moved
     
  5. Jon Deavers
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    Jon Deavers Member

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    Thanks all. I think this is how I'm going to do it.

    "The floor of the hall was bamboo laid in a parquet design. Three long cherry tables were arranged in a half-circle, at the far end."

    Don't worry, I understand the perils of too much description.

    Thanks again and happy new year!
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No comma in the second revised sentence, and no hyphen in half circle.
     
  7. Pundemic
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    Pundemic Member

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    If you wanted to retain a single sentence, maybe you could do something like this?:

    "Three long cherry tables were arranged in a half circle on the bamboo parquetry flooring."

    But yeah, two sentences would probably be easier.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    since i so seldom have to disagree with you, amigo, i take no pleasure in pointing out that placing a comma before an adverbial descriptive phrase is not incorrect... 'arranged' where?... 'at the far end"

    and:

    that hyphen may be optional, but i favor using it, per this dictionary usage...
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The amount of visual description needed depends on the reader. Some (such as Mamma, it seems) only want what's needed to progress the story. Others like a lot of visual description so they can feel themselves inside the place. You need to find a level that suits you and your readers, so the description of the floor may or may not be unnecessary. Yo already have some good suggestions to improve the sentence. Another way to do it, keeping it as one sentence, might be "Three long cherry-wood tables sat arranged in a half-moon shape at the far end of the caramel bamboo parquetry floor." That's still a lot of modifiers at the end, though.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no, not I, dig...

    i have nothing agin' describing the location, to set the scene... as long as it's done well...
     

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