1. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    There is something off with this text

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Stammis, Oct 23, 2016.

    This text feels like a mess, but I can't put my finger on it...

    The sounds, oh the sounds that old houses make. Some of them he recognised, some he couldn't; but it wasn't those he couldn't that worried him... He turned his head towards the window, the rain and the wind smacking against the glass, making the house creak violently. For a second, he thought the whole wall bend against the wind. Surely he must have imagined it?

    Not wanting to think about the solidity of the house structure, he wrapped himself with blankets and squirmed around in bed, unable to find a comfortable position; the bed too creaking uncomfortably as he did.
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    "I think "didn't" would work more smoothly instead of "some he COULDN'T", but that's a judgment call...

    "but it wasn't those he couldn't that worried him" is a bit wordy/awkward and could probably be tidied up...

    And I'm not sure what it means - what IS he worried about, if not the unrecognizable sounds?

    "he thought the whole wall BENT against the wind"...

    he probably didn't "creak uncomfortably" so the "too" in the last sentence doesn't make much sense...

    the semicolon in the last sentence is missused because the second half isn't a complete sentence...

    That's about all I see. Lots of little things, but not one overarching issue.
     
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  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with @BayView's suggestions, but it was this remark she made, in particular, that got me thinking.
    What are you trying to convey here? You're describing stuff that is happening, but why?

    Try to zero in on exactly what you want this passage to accomplish. What do you want the reader to worry about here? Do you want the reader to worry about the structure of the house? His state of mind? The worsening weather? Something else? See what you can do to explain to yourself what you're trying to do here. Once it's clear in your own mind, you'll know what's important to emphasize in this passage, and what isn't.
     
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  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Yeah, I agree with @jannert that I'm not getting a clear impression of what this piece is about. Might be made crystal clear in the very next sentence, but based just on what we're seeing here, there's a lack of focus.
     
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  5. tonguetied

    tonguetied Contributor Contributor

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    I agree with the above but in addition I find the word "solidity" an odd choice, I would say "strength" instead and also leave out "structure". I think you were trying to tie the creaking of the bed to the creaking of the house, if so, I would think something like: "the bed creaked with the house adding to his discomfort." However that probably will still sound a bit odd.
     
  6. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Essentially, paragraph action brings you home?

    The sounds,

    oh the sounds that old houses make.

    Some of them he recognised, some [sounds] he could not; but it wasn't those he could not [recognise] that worried him...

    He turned his head towards the window, the rain and the wind smacking ed against the glass, made king the house creak violently. For a second, he thought the whole wall bent d against the wind. Surely he must have imagined it?

    Not wanting to think about the solidity of the house structure, he wrapped himself with blankets and squirmed around in bed, unable to find a comfortable position; the bed too creaked ing uncomfortably, as he did [he]. (?)
     
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  7. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    Thank you everyone.

    The idea that I want to convey is that the house is really old and to set the mood a bit.

    I think this new version works a bit better:

    The sounds, oh the sounds that old houses make. Some of them he recognised, some he didn't. But it wasn't the sounds that worried him, but the how the very walls seemed to move as a particularly strong wind hit against the house, the house bending to the will of nature.

    Nervously he looked out a window on the wall next to him. The night wrapped in complete darkness, the moon shaded by the clouds. He tucked himself even tighter around his blankets as he heard the rain drum against the window. The bed creaking violently as he did, like the house.

    Wide awake, he glanced around the sparsely lit room while trying to keep the weight of the storm out of his mind. The house was at least a century old and his grandmother had lived here all her life. Not as the owner - but as a maid!
     
  8. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Also plural 'houses' jumps to 'house.' Fix that - might fix the eye...
     
  9. Solar

    Solar Contributor Contributor

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    Nah, scrap it all.
     
  10. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Granny live all her life the spooky house in Swedens. Now she dead for sure. I walk inside this same crappy house, and shit me up in the storm like grandma's come to live. She shakes curtains and wooden spoon flies everywhere. I know is only rain, but rain is motherfucker.
     
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  11. Stammis

    Stammis Senior Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, though I didn't like your version as it destroyed the drama, I think. I don't like going straight to the point like that.

    Though, your comments was really useful in tightening up the sentences a bit. To remove the excessive "the" and the use of "as" too often.

    Concerning naming the character, this is just the beginning of a 800 word flash fiction, so I decided not to give him one :)
     
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