1. castingflame
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    castingflame New Member

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    Grammar Which way around should this sentence be?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by castingflame, Feb 23, 2016.

    Firstly as this is my first post I would like to say hello to everyone :)

    I am unsure if this is the correct area to post this question. Please feel free to move it to a more appropriate location.

    Background
    I'm a 46 year old English guy and i'm now working on a very small text based game as part of my online course in game development. While writing the story I constantly struggle with sentence construction. It's not complicated but I am unsure which way around the sentence should be written. I'll give you an example.

    Naturally I would write...

    example 1
    Detritus clings to your legs as you wade your way forward.

    But then I read it back and wonder if it should be written ...

    example 2
    As you wade your way forward detritus clings to your legs.


    To me, example 2 seems to flow better but I would always naturally write it like example 1. So do I just need to reprogram myself to write it as in example 2?


    I apologise that I do not know the technical words for what I am trying to explain. I would like to know more about writing in general so I though I would join a community to learn along the way with my games development.


    Kind Regards

    Paul
     
  2. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I think both work. In example 1 "detritus" is more emphasized so it carries that concept stronger. Example 2 is stronger with the wading action.
     
  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Either's fine - neither's really better, overall. Just choose the one that fits with the rest of the sentences around it. Variety is usually good--don't use one form all the time, mix it up!
     
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  4. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't say so. Trying to get every sentence perfect on the first pass will drive you nuts.

    So, better to write as you write and then rewrite (and rewrite and rewrite) until you're satisfied.
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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  6. castingflame
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    castingflame New Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. They all seem pertinent. I will carry on with your wise words in mind :)

    P.S. I'm very glad I found this place. It seems a breath of fresh air compared to all of the Technical forum I frequent :)

    P.P.S. I can't believe there isn't a spell checker in the post composer tool. If ever there was a place to get my spelling correct now would be the time ;)
     
  7. castingflame
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    castingflame New Member

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    Detritus clings to your legs as you wade your way forward.



    Yes shadowfax. I have changed that already. Nice to see I got it correct :)

    Infact after re reading it many times, I am surprised how many 'extra' words I add and dont need.
     
  8. Echoblammo
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    Echoblammo New Member

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    The first one is from kind of like a Choose your own adventure, 2nd Person Kind of perspective. So another example would "You bring your staff down hard, but miss the dragon's head by a few inches"

    The Second is kind of like a Second-Person Omniscient kind of perspective, like there is a guy in front of you narrating your life. If you switch back in fourth, it'll be kind of weird, so you'll want to go with one style or else it'll be weird. AN example for this would be "As you swing your staff, it swishes past the Dragons head, barely missing it".
     
  9. Scialen
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    Scialen New Member

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    Okay so! Both are grammatically valid. Here's why:

    You can put either part at the beginning. Your choice becomes not one of correctness but of focus: the part you end with is the part that the reader will focus on. So, if you want the reader to focus on where Detritus clings to, focus on the second example; if you want the reader to focus on how they're moving, choose the first example. What you end with is where the focus lies.

    The only adjustment you need to make is to offset a comma if you're opening the sentence with "as you wade forward."

    Detritus clings to your legs as you wade forward.

    As you wade forward, Detritus clings to your legs.

    This is because "as you wade forward" is what's known as an adverbial dependent clause, and let's break that down:

    It is a clause because it contains a subject ("you") and a predicate ("wade forward").
    It is dependent because you're using "as" to connect it to what Detritus is doing.
    It is adverbial because it modifies the main "clings" verb while adding information connecting the two actions.

    Hope that helps!
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that either sentence is fine, as long as you lose "your way".

    I, too, momentarily assumed that "detritus" was a character, like an underwater monster grabbing your legs. But you're referring to underwater stuff--leaves, reeds, slime, whatever--clinging to your legs, right? You may want to choose a different word.
     
  11. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    It's worth pointing out that there is no "correct".
    There's no better, either, at least not in any absolute sense of the word. As long as what you're writing makes sense and doesn't jar your reader out of the story, you're doing fine.

    I expect you've probably gotten into this mindset due to coming from a technical background, and it's super important that get rid of the idea that you're in danger of the reader suddenly dropping your work because of a syntax error.
     
  12. castingflame
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    castingflame New Member

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    You are correct NiallRoach that I am from a very technical mindset and background. I do also worry that if the syntax is incorrect readers will be unable to 'compile my code', as it were, into something that is easy to understand and flows..

    The short story i'm writing is just a small decision based text adventure game. The online game development course only called for me to write a dozen short sections of text that would be reusable as people moved back and forth retracing their steps. I enjoyed writing it so much and planning my adventure on a flowchart that it grew into 48 rooms/locations! I'm about 70% complete.

    I know I should stop taking it so seriously and get on with it but I find myself just 'getting lost' in the silly little world and situations i'm creating. As I keep making myself smile I guess that it's okay. I am artistic by nature but I had never written.

    I am very surprised with the amount of constructive feedback people have given from my single sentence. While some of the technicalities mentioned about writing are unsurprisingly a little confusing for a 'country bumkin' such as myself, I have found it very useful.

    Thanks again, Paul
     

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