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Hi everyone, Here are two sentences about which I have some questions:

The boulevard is a sea of red and green and orange ski jackets. Katherine, Jarek and Saša find a spot with clear sightlines to the balcony, high above the crowd just as the moderator’s welcome booms off the stone and glass façades.

Questions:

i) sentence 1: I like joining the colour adjectives with "and" twice. To me, a single "and" after "green" reads more like a list & suggests less profusion. What do you say?

ii) sentence 2: It is clear that it is the balcony that is high above the crowd and not the spot which the friends find?

iii) sentence 2: Is it clear that the "stone & glass façades" are those of the boulevard, or do you think I need to replace "boulevard" in sent 1 with another word and add "of the boulevard" or something similar after "façaces"?

Thank you very much. All other comments welcome.

Comments
    • Here is a revision of the two-sentence passage. I hope that it's clearer, while giving a feeling of the magnitude of the space. I've added a detail about the microphones, which suggests how recently the balcony has been set up for demonstrations. It would probably be clearer to say "where a bank of microphones has replaced bullhorns"??? If anything about the sound system seems confusing or superfluous, and if the 2nd sentence just stops after "balcony", then to me it becomes a choppy sentence.

      What do you think?

      The boulevard is a sea of ski jackets, reds and greens and orange. High above, in the middle, perches the balcony, newly wired with a bank of microphones. Katherine, Jarek and Saša find a spot just as the moderator’s welcome resounds off the stone and glass façades.

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      • 'Dominant' is indeed a good word, thank you. If I could find a way to say 'dominating the boulevard', that would do it. You're absolutely right about the mikes.

        What you say about 'echoes' is true, too. I wonder about getting more strength out of it by repeating: "echoes, echoes off..." 

        I've replaced the 'sea' with 'vast mosaïc' ('mosaïc is used later to describe the crowd). Kate mentioned that it's a cliché, and echoed, echoed my own feeling; in fact, before using it, I looked for some time for synonyms.

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        • The other way might be to invert the dominant, especially as you're going with mosaic. Think of the extended crowd hanging from the balcony (as art hangs); maybe something in the anchored family. That would demonstrate the crowd's focused attention.

          Doubling up the echo might work. Let's see…

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          • All useful comments, Rick. Thanks ever so much.

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          • Hi Janet.

            Like others, I like the repeated 'and'. I think that works well. 

            Could you give yourself the freedom to use 'boulevard' later by swapping it for 'crowd' in the first sentence, perhaps? This allows you a more specific description of what the 'facades' belong to later.

            The question of the sightlines could be clarified with the addition of 'up' as a modifier to the sightlines, and a small change of punctuation to lose the implied break between the balcony and 'high above'.

            I like the moderator's welcome 'booming off' the stone and glass. That worked just fine for me; as you say it's a strong verb and perfectly understandable in the context, and it's obvious that his 'voice' is implied.

            Which gives you:

            The crowd is a sea of red and green and orange ski jackets. Katherine, Jarek and Saša find a spot with clear sightlines up to the balcony high above the crowd, just as the moderator’s welcome booms off the boulevard's stone and glass façades.

            Just my thoughts.

            Edit: Just noticed your revision above. I think it loses the simplicity and power of the first version, to be honest. The second sentence feels a bit 'choppy', I'm not entirely  sure we need the detail of the microphones (aren't they implied by the crowd and the obvious speech that they're preparing for?). 'Resounds' doesn't really work for me, I'm afraid; it has connotations of an overwhelming, continuous blare of sound rather than simply volume.

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            • Oops! That's what comes of posting too quickly! Yes, you're quite right, and the second 'crowd' could be dispensed with. 

              The crowd is a sea of red and green and orange ski jackets. Katherine, Jarek and Saša find a spot with clear sightlines up to the balcony high above, just as the moderator’s welcome booms off the boulevard's stone and glass façades.

              Boom! 😁

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              • 😂

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                • In response to your edit remarks,, I'm not 100% sure about the microphones either. The balcony technically belonged to the Communist Party, like everything else, and the democratic movement coopted it. That's in the story, but it's too complicated to put in an excerpt. Thanks for your remark about losing simplicity & power. That shouldn't happen, so I'll remember that as I continue revising.

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                • I'm not keen on the 'a sea of', because for me it's a bit of a cliché phrase. A medley, a patchwork, a potpourri. Something a bit more original.

                  I like what Jon's done with the second sentence. 

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                  • Thanks, Kate. I agree that "sea" is a cliché, and I scoured synonyms to find something else. "Medley" fits with music, but it's not large enough, and I'm afraid "patchwork" and "potpourri aren't either. The blvd is 1/2 mile in length, the crowd = 1/4 of a million, the sound was highly amplified and really echoed strongly, and the speakers'  delivery was  energetic. So the demo had magnitude in all its aspects. That was an important factor in frightening the Communist leaders.

                    Just before posting this, I gave the search one more try. Though I didn't find an alternative, I discovered a new site which looks promising for writers in general:

                    https://inspirassion.com/en/

                    Do you know of it?

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                    • I've not come across that. Will take a look. Thanks.

                      What about host, riot, multitude, cornucopia.

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                      • Maybe the last two. Thank you!

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                      • The speaker's balcony juts from the stone and glass facade commanding a view of  the sloping boulevard; which, at the moment, held a surging crowd wearing orange and red and green ski jackets.  Katherine, Jarek, and Sasa find a spot with a clear view just as the Moderator's too loud welcome booms from the new sound system.

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                        • Hi Calvin,

                          It's so interesting to see the different versions people work out. Thank you for reading and responding.

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