Check that sentence

  • 1846
Info
Group Name:
Check that sentence
Category:

I'm new to Oxford and Jericho Writers, and thought it might be helpful to have a place where we can submit sentences that we would like feedback on, whether we are struggling with them, proud of them, or just testing them out. Critiquing a sentence is certainly less daunting than a paragraph or chapter, encouraging more of us to chip in. While the Elements of Style and Google can answer many of our questions, nothing beats feedback from a fellow writer!

As with the other groups, there's no judgement here; we're all learning.

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Hello all, hope you're managing to avoid the hail (in May... what the...)

I've got a couple of sentences today. These might be stylistic decisions, but if there's a grammar rule, please let me know.

A) His heart pounding with adrenaline, he picked up...

B) Heart pounding with adrenaline, he picked up...

C) With his heart pounding with adrenaline, he picked up...

(I appreciate that there are numerous variations, such as 'His heart hammered as he picked up...', but I'm more interested in any general rule with this type of sentence opener than the actual sentence itself, so that I can apply it globally)

D) ...and landed in the water between two rocks.

E) ...and landed between two rocks in the water.

- I'm sure there's a rule here! It may well be time to dust off those grammar books.

Many thanks in advance!

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

OK, continuing to breathe life into this group... I'm back with another of those 'don't do' rules which are just screaming out to be broken: filtering. 

I've searched my MS for 5 filtering words so far and the thing is I think I like them, I've deleted/changed hardly any. I'm starting to wonder if my ear is off or if the rule is just a bit overstated. Here's an example - the context is the protag is in an unpleasant situation with several kids making fun of her (teen audience), her thoughts about what's going on and why are interspersed with observations of her surroundings, including the Jacaranda tree:

I gazed up at the ferny leaves and wondered when it would burst into violet. How I’d loved playing that game with its flowers: Agua, café o leche? Water, coffee or milk? I felt the press of the trumpet-shaped flower between my fingers and saw the sticky juice oozing from its mouthpiece: leche.

So, based on filtering no-nos I should be considering cutting/changing: gazed, wondered, felt, saw. BUT I like our awareness of her meandering mind, switching from the critical situation she's in to drifting observations and a re-experiencing of a past more childish activity (which contrasts with her current struggle with puberty) and I can't think of another way that works to give the same feel.

Does anyone else struggle with this?

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Since there's been recent discussion about em dashes and semicolons, here is the beginning of a new story. I've been playing around with this beginning using em dashes, periods, and semicolons to both seperate and link the sentences, and I think I like this version. It will still need editing, but, just for style, what do you think?

‘You’ll be okay,’ he said. ‘You have to face your fears.’ I half shook my head. I was brave, I knew I was, but the ride was far too high – even though I wanted to see the ocean in the distance – even though I wanted to be away for just a few minutes, and let the sea air blow me away – even for him, and he knew I knew it.

To add to this. Here is the second paragraph.
He sat me in the damp seat and buckled the belt. ‘It won’t go fast, will it?’ I asked, knowing I wouldn’t believe him if he said, ‘No’.
I realise have 'No' in speech marks like this is probably the correct way, but it somehow doesn't look natural to me.

....if he said no.  

Would that work in this instance?

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

OK, I want to put something to you just out of curiosity. I'm doing a big edit and keep coming back to this sentence:

There was a red wax seal with a Hogwarts crest: Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus and a white feather was tucked under the coarse, beige string.

(The Latin is in italics in the original but for some reason it won't let me keep them here.)

I think I keep going back partly because of the 'there was' construction (a Harry Bingham pet-hate) and partly because of the passive voice. But we're talking about a parcel which my narrator is describing so passive kind of fits.

My reworking has come out as:

A Hogwarts crest was stamped into the red wax seal — Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus — and tucked under the coarse, beige string was a distinctive, white feather.

So I've lost the 'there was' but not the passive. AND I've tried to reposition the important bits for more effect (the crest at the start and the feather at the end). 

So what do you think? Is there an improvement? Am I missing something?

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Does this need the comma, please?
You will have to look after yourself again, and be glad of what we had.

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Eileen got the picture, all too clearly.

What is the best way to punctuate the above, to really emphasise the 'all too clearly', please?
Would sentence fragments be better?  Eileen got the picture. All too clearly.

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Hello All -- So how about this sentence? It's my first, and I have just learnt all about filter words and how they should be avoided. My first sentence includes two, but I still like it. It's stark and simple. See what you think:

'I remember when I first realised I didn't love my mother.'

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Hello everyone! 

I can't believe I've only just discovered this group! Anyway, it's great to be here. I have recently become an editor and have a background in proofreading. I hope to be of help here as well as finding an opportunity to sharpen my skills (both as an editor and a writer - two completely different skills). 

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Could anyone help me punctuate this sentence please?

Do any here believe that if we find ourselves losing the fight, once more, the wizards would not again loose the dragons?
Do any here believe that, if we find ourselves losing the fight once more, the wizards would not again loose the dragons?

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Not a sentence wording question, but a punctuation one. I have a line of dialogue, interrupted by an explanation (which is realistic as part of the character's peripheral thoughts). However, given that it is an aside, it feels wrong to separate it out with commas. Instead, I believe n-dashes are the way to go. But should the quotes be inside or outside?

Specifically:

1) “To make matters worse, no member of the House of Sisters –” Oethur’s House, and hers “– is eligible.”

2) “To make matters worse, no member of the House of Sisters” – Oethur’s House, and hers – “is eligible.”

Which reads better?

(I think #a is grammatically better, but #2 is visually nicer.)

Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Two quick questions.

“Seed has a nest with six eggs,” Luca shouted over the song. (If I used 'said', this would be correct. With 'shouted' I'm unsure if I need a full stop?)

Which one of the following is better?

His eyes had the same look as Gumball’s did whenever she found a juicy spider. 

His eyes had the same look as Gumball's when she found a juicy spider.

His eyes held the same look that Gumball got when she found a juicy spider.


Added a post  to  , Check that sentence

Hello all, I'm new to this group. Nice to meet you all!