1. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    Style question or thought

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Chaos Inc., Jun 22, 2014.

    He's the paragraph.

    "It felt like falling. There was neither sight nor sound. He could only feel that he was somewhere but he took no form, only a question/thought.

    Who am I?"

    So, what's better, question or thought?

    My first instinct was a thought, but the thought is a question. I want to go with "thought" but I can hear people saying "but it's a question doofus". Someone agree with me so I can move past this! :p
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    A thought can be in the form of a question, so go with "thought" if that seems better to you.
     
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  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Thought.

    I hereby agree with you. You may now move on. :)
     
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  4. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is it just me or is the second to last sentence extremely confusing?
     
  5. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    Good, moving on!
     
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  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    'He could only feel that he was somewhere but he took no form, only a question/thought.'

    My problem was with 'a question.' Once that's been removed it's much less confusing to the eye, I think. Out of curiosity... would it be ok to drop that third 'he'? It's a bit he-heavy for my taste. This is a question I ask myself frequently. If it were removed what effect would that have on the sentence? Does it really need to be there and why?
     
  7. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    All those editing things will come later, this is a rough draft of this particular moment.
     
  8. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I wasn't actually asking the question for your benefit, but for my own. I was really hoping that someone that knows more about grammar than I do would chime in and clarify, using this as an example. ;) When someone asks a question it stands to benefit others... much like the idea behind critique. We can learn from each other indirectly.
     
  9. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The sentence is poor and really hard to understand, because how can he "take" a question or a thought in the above context? If he wrote,

    he could only feel he was somewhere, but without form (without form still doesn't make sense) He thought to himself "who am I?"

    That would be a little clearer.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think you may have misinterpreted the original question. The OP was asking whether the last word should be question or thought. He wasn't suggesting it should be "question/thought."

    You might be right. I guess it's a matter of preference. I wouldn't just delete the third "he" though. I'd rephrase like this:

    "He could only feel that he was somewhere, but took only the form of a thought."

    It's still clumsy. Aw, heck, I'd stretch it into a paragraph that explains exactly what I mean! There are times when you can get so concise and elegant that you're not making sense any more. o_O
     
  11. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I think you may have misinterpreted my response, @minstrel. I meant to indicate I agreed with @thirdwind and yourself when it came to whether to use 'thought' or 'question'. Then it occurred to me that 123... had a point. I was in agreement with him that it was a little confusing on the first read through, and I was trying to figure out in my own head how it could be made more clear. That led me to try and simplify it without losing meaning.

    Indeed, and that's exactly why I was asking. You've seen how I write in my posts. I'm always trying to find ways to find balance between clarity and bulk when it comes to my W.I.P. I can slide quite dramatically from being really verbose and wordy, to writing in almost Spartan fashion.

    @123456789 Yes... I took exception to 'take' too. That, to me, was where the clunkiness was stemming from, totally aside from the initial question. I actually like your example, but for some reason 'without form' doesn't resonate badly with me at all.

    Apologies guys... I'm still having difficulty articulating why something feels a little off. Getting better though... this forum's done me wonders.
     
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