Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tip for April 13, 2010; Sentences

Have you ever read a certain sentence where it just jumps out at you as amazing? I read one on Donita K. Paul's writing blog some time ago (click here to read it), and I just said, Wow, I want to read that book. Because of that sentence.

Sentences can be grammatically correct and still be wrong. There's a certain, different way of putting things that each writer has. Some do it this way, others that way. Sometimes, I can even recognize a writer's work simply by reading a bit of it.

Of course, there's the downside to it.

Earlier this week, I was editing my first novel, again. I was on the first chapter, the one right after the prologue. It started with, "Shad glared at Hysas, a stocky teenager."

I just didn't like something about that sentence. Earlier in the editing, I had put a chapter ahead of the one that had formerly been the first, and it started with that sentence. But something about it... Some-thing.

Anyway, I decided to replace it. I took it out, and tried to find a better way to put it. I succeeded, but in the process I messed up the paragraph. So I fixed that, which unfailingly messed up the entire chapter. So I fixed that... and then I found a similar situation later on with a story being told in an inn. So I also replaced that entire lot.

But in the end, it was for the better. I now have a better and clearer sentence in replacement of the old one. But it might need a little more editing, too. :)


Squeaks said...

Thanks for sharing Jake! I totally know what you mean about sentences just catching you and leaving you breathless.

The way I'd put it is...pictures might be worth a thousand words, but descriptive words are worth a thousand pictures ;)

That's one of the things that bugged me with LOTR when they came out with the movies. I had previously read the books and loved them...the characters were imprinted on my mind in the way that I saw them; the towns and castles all looked unique in my imagination. Yet, upon watching the movies, my imagination was torn to pieces as someone else forced their views upon me. Now, whenever I read through a snippet of LOTR, I grimace when I see actors and costumed faces instead of my own characters. Movies really do tend to ruin good books.

Except! Except for those sentences that really grab your heart and enchant you. It's through those sentences that I always find my imagination breaking through the blackened shroud of movie actors...and my own characters are able to play upon the screen of my mind once more.

Therefore, my logic stands. Pictures might be worth a thousand words, but descriptive words are worth a thousand pictures (if not more).


Jake said...

I completely agree, Squeaks.

Oh, and that description of your imagination is worth a thousand pictures. :)