1. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Banned

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    Is this paragraph clear?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by waitingforzion, Jul 22, 2017.

    I wrote the following paragraph because I couldn't think of anything else to write. This is fiction. I think it is clear, and I am quite confident of that, but of course someone else might disagree. I just want to make sure that to other people besides me, this paragraph is clear.

     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    I think so. Sandra is the shit and those that oppose her will be righteously bitch-slapped.

    Is clarity what you're going for? Seems to me that you're shooting for biblical prophesy purple speak, which is totally fine--I'm a big fan of grandiose language--but whether I could roll with this kind of prose for 100k words (if that is your intention) is another matter. Nothing wrong with it at all so long as you realize that this kind of writing isn't terribly concerned with what we would normally consider "clarity." If you chose to double-down on prose you will live and die with prose instead of the normal parameters of comprehension. Just my two cents.
     
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  3. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Banned

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    Why do you say that the Biblical prose style doesn't follow normal standards of clarity? I think that the Bible is clear.

    I was indeed aiming for something like a biblical prose style, but I was also aiming for clarity. I thought that the Bible was considered clear. If the Bible uses a different standard of clarity than what is normally considered clarity, then to properly imitate the Biblical prose style, I must follow that different standard of clarity.
     
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  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Yep. I'd say you did that well. Good luck!
     
  5. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's clear, but the word choice makes it a bit old-fashioned. If you're looking for contemporary writers who have a more biblical style of writing, I would suggest looking at Cormac McCarthy or Toni Morrison.
     
  6. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Banned

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    I'm glad you think something I wrote is clear for once.

    Why do you say the word-choice makes it a bit old-fashioned? Did I choose any words that are out of usage? The trouble is, I can't seem to find modern synonyms with the sound I want. But as far as I know, I did not use any archaic words. Maybe you think it sounds old-fashioned for a different reason.

    Also, I looked up excerpts from the work of Cormac McCarthy, and I was very disappointed with his writing. I had trouble getting the flow of it, and it did not sound to me anything like the KJV.

    When you say that an author has a contemporary biblical style, do you mean that his word-choice is contemporary, or his cadence? If it is his cadence, then there is a problem, because that is the very thing I am trying to use in my writing.
     
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  7. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    It's perfectly clear. It's all rolling additive sentences. I would have chopped a few of the commas, but that's just me.

    Behold, a day of light shall dawn and the rule of a princess in her kingdom, when she shall be seated upon a lofty throne and receive dominion over all the land.​

    I picture it being shouted from the parapets, something along the lines of an inspirational Braveheart speech. I would switch "receive" with "claim" or "take" or something similar. I think it sounds old because of "behold" and "shall," which aren't modern. Probably fits the scene, I assume.

    If there were something I'd change (it's very minor) it is in the first half. You have:

    Behold, <clause> and <phrase>, when she shall . . .​

    And they would fit better (IMO) if they were both clauses or both phrases.

    Behold, a day of light shall dawn and a princess shall rule her kingdom . . .
    Behold, the dawning of a day of light and the rule of a princess in her kingdom . . .
    It's very cool though and has a nice sound for the moment I think it's meant for.
     
  8. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's not so much word choice as it is sentence structure. For example, take this phrase:
    You don't see something phrased this way in contemporary writing. Now, this isn't bad or anything, but given your past posts on this same issue, I think it would be beneficial to stop and ask yourself why phrasing something this way is effective. Are you doing it only to sound beautiful? Second, by phrasing things this way, you risk sounding light-hearted or comical, at least in my opinion.

    I mean his style and rhythm. Have you tried Toni Morrison?
     
  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm trying to translate, and having some trouble.

    > Behold, a day of light shall dawn,

    Translation: A time is coming.

    > and the rule of a princess in her kingdom,

    Translation: Female Person A (FPA) will have authority over some place.

    Maybe an actual kingdom, maybe a metaphorical one like a workplace or home.

    > when she shall be seated on a lofty throne,

    Translation: Again, FPA will have authority over some place.

    There seems to be a grammar issue here. "and the rule of a princess in her kingdom" adds up to a noun phrase, so it doesn't seem to work here. It's

    A (noun) will (verb), and (noun), when (noun) will (verb) on a (noun).

    The "and (noun)" doesn't seem to work.

    > and receive dominion over all the land.

    Translation: Again, FPA will have authority over some place.

    > And she shall destroy the power of an enemy,

    Translation: FPA will defeat an enemy.

    > and dissolve the strength of an adversary,

    Translation: Again, FPA will defeat an enemy.

    > even she that disdained great riches,

    Who is the "she" here? Are we still on Female Person A, or is it now Female Person B?

    Translation: Anyway, Unknown Person (UP) is uninterested in wealth.

    > and scorned the treasures of amity.

    Translation: UP is also uninterested in the good things that come from friendship and goodwill--maybe, rejects friendship and goodwill? Is that what you mean?

    > For there shall arise a day of brightness,

    Translation: A time is coming

    > and the time of Sandra’s rule,

    Translation: Somebody named Sandra will have authority over some place.

    Is Sandra the same as Female Person A? Or Female person B? Or Unknown Person? Or are all four of them the same person?

    > and from her splendor shall run away she that oppressed the land,

    Translation: OK, so it sounds like we have at least two--a good female person who defeats a bad female person.

    > who ruled with contempt the heart of a man.

    Translation: The bad female person was mean to a male person.

    So is the man the metaphorical kingdom that we keep seeing?

    > For the rising of Sandra shall cease the oppression,

    Translation: Again, a good female person will defeat a bad person.

    > and her dominion shall cause the tyranny to end.

    Translation: Again, a good female person will defeat a bad person.
     
  10. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Banned

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    Okay, I fixed what you folks perceived as broken parallelism in the first two comma separated phrases after the first word, although I considered myself to be using a form of ellipses in the original version. I also changed the pronoun that might lead the reader to fail to distinguish between the two separate individuals mentioned. As for the elimination of commas, I did not remove them, because I like the sound of pauses between short rhythmic strings of words.

    I had made these corrections right after reading your replies several weeks ago, but only just now did I post the revision.
     
  11. Radrook

    Radrook Banned Contributor

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    Sounds similar to this scripture:

    Isaiah: 9
    6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
     

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