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Wandering without a destination through the streets Options
Nikitus
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 12:31:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/17/2013
Posts: 363
Neurons: 1,764
Location: Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile
Hello.

First of all, thanks for all your help and time!


Are the following sentences grammatically correct?




"Wandering without a destination through the streets, with his eyes lost, immersed in his chaotic and contradictory thoughts, Tim walked with his backpack and his amulet around his neck, for three blocks, on his birthday, to then move on to the other, which he had determined almost as a sign from the gods of Olympus that it would be part of his offering ritual. When he crossed the street, a young man gave him a flyer. SAM stops, and looked at the boy."



Thanks.
Gabriel82
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:34:14 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 7/22/2017
Posts: 97
Neurons: 251,584
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas, United States
Nikitus wrote:
Hello.

First of all, thanks for all your help and time!


Are the following sentences grammatically correct?




"Wandering without a destination through the streets, with his eyes lost, immersed in his chaotic and contradictory thoughts, Tim walked with his backpack and his amulet around his neck, for three blocks, on his birthday, to then move on to the other, which he had determined almost as a sign from the gods of Olympus that it would be part of his offering ritual. When he crossed the street, a young man gave him a flyer. SAM stops, and looked at the boy."

Thanks.


The first sentence is too long. It should be reworded something like this:

"Wandering the streets with lost eyes while immersed in his chaotic and contradictory thoughts, Tim walked with his backpack and amulet around his neck for three blocks; it was his birthday and he moved from one street to another, thinking it a sign from the gods of Olympus that this would be part of his offering. When he crossed the street, a young man gave him a flyer. Sam stopped and looked at the boy."
ChrisKC
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:38:22 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/2014
Posts: 274
Neurons: 128,536
Location: Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
My first thoughts are that the sentence is correct. But reading more than once I am feeling the initial sentence is a bit long-winded, needing many commas and not being sure if it will ever end. the Writer wants to convey much but I believe two sentences with the same content would make for easier reading.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 2:52:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,156
Neurons: 176,986
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I agree with Chris and Gabriel, it's much to much data for one sentence.
If it is all relevant to the story, it should be split. If any of it is irrelevant, just omit it.

Gabriel didn't actually say, but his changes show that he noticed this . . .
"Wandering" already includes the idea "without destination".
"Wandering without a destination" is a bit redundant.

Also, I'm a bit confused where Sam (not SAM - that's a type of ground-to-air missile) appears from.
Tim is wandering (it sounds like he is alone) - he meets a boy. There is no Sam.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Nikitus
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 9:36:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/17/2013
Posts: 363
Neurons: 1,764
Location: Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile
Thanks to Gabriel82, ChrisKC and Drag0nspeaker for his help.


This is the new version.


"Wandering the streets with lost eyes immersed in his chaotic and contradictory thoughts after the recent events, Tim walked with his backpack and amulet around his neck for three blocks; it was his birthday. After the three blocks he moved from one street to another, thinking it was a sign from the gods of Olympus. He realized in his own paranoia that walking the three blocks must be part of his offering. When he crossed the street, a young man gave him a flyer. Tim stopped and looked at the boy trying to decipher this new signal."

Thanks
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:04:56 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,400
Neurons: 44,858
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Nikitus: a few points which you may find useful to keep in mind.

The purpose of a sentence is to get a particular point across. Your first sentence deals with multiple points: It's his birthday. He's wandering aimlessly. He's disturbed by recent events. He is wearing his backpack & amulet. He walked 3 blocks. Do every one of those points deserve equal time and stress? Or are some of them just included for the same reason: to provide a picture of Tim, Consider: -

"On his birthday, Tim found himself aimlessly wandering the streets." The main point of the sentence is to show he was just wandering around with his mind elsewhere. I don't know if the fact that it was his birthday becomes important later on - so I used it to introduce the "aimless wanderings". If it never comes up again there's no point even mentioning it.

This immediately makes the reader wonder "why" he's doing this:
"His mind was in turmoil over the recent events and he couldn't tear his confused thoughts away from what had taken place."

Now the Olympus bit. Is this integral to the story? Is Tim some modern supporter of 2000/3000 year-old beliefs? Will this peculiarity of his affect his actions throughout the story? Does it drive his behaviour? If so, that's fine.

If not, then it fits into what's called "Author intrusion" i.e. the only point it serves is to illustrate that the Writer knows the history of the Olympian gods. If the reader doesn't, you've lost their attention.

However, there's also another problem: you said he was walking "the streets". Plural. Now you say that only AFTER he had been walking 3 blocks did he go from the street he was on to another: this means he wasn't, previously, "wandering the streets" but "wandering down a particular street" for 3 blocks. D'you see?

"Paranoia". You've previously said he was confused and chaotically thing about things that had happened. There's nothing in the least bit paranoid about that. It's a normal human reaction: something happens to us and we have to digest it, think about it, see how it fits into other parts of our life.

"His offering" - obviously referring to something that has already happened. If, however, it is merely said as having some sort of relevance to Olympus it's merely confusing, and has the Reader asking a whole lot of questions regarding it.

When we write we have to have someone else in our mind: the reader. We may have a large vocabulary, and have lots of knowledge - but we don't write to show this to people. We write to communicate with others...at a level they understand.

"Walking with lost eyes" is a good phrase. But it just doesn't fit in here. The points you made were that his mind was in chaos and his thoughts confused. So in fact he is engaged in deep contemplation - not 'lost' - which implies 'vacant' eyes?

This may all sound pretty harsh and as though I'm tearing up everything you wrote. I hope not. The intention was to use the few lines - out of the thousands I'm sure you've written your life - to illustrate a few points that will help in the future with your writing:

- Short sentences which make a particular point.
- Imagining who your readers are and writing for them.
- Not giving away your own thoughts or knowledge when you're writing for - and about - someone else.
- Careful choice of the words one uses as the BEST choice in particular sentences.
- Re-reading carefully to make sure that, though the scene is clear in one's own mind, it will be equally clear to the Reader.
- Even if one has thought of a great phrase, don't hesitate to cut it out if it doesn't fit.(This can be hard. But the perfect place will come up one day!)
- Cut out any detail that doesn't move the story forward.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:06:06 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,400
Neurons: 44,858
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Nikitus: a few points which you may find useful to keep in mind.

The purpose of a sentence is to get a particular point across. Your first sentence deals with multiple points: It's his birthday. He's wandering aimlessly. He's disturbed by recent events. He is wearing his backpack & amulet. He walked 3 blocks. Do every one of those points deserve equal time and stress? Or are some of them just included for the same reason: to provide a picture of Tim, Consider: -

"On his birthday, Tim found himself aimlessly wandering the streets." The main point of the sentence is to show he was just wandering around with his mind elsewhere. I don't know if the fact that it was his birthday becomes important later on - so I used it to introduce the "aimless wanderings". If it never comes up again there's no point even mentioning it.

This immediately makes the reader wonder "why" he's doing this:
"His mind was in turmoil over the recent events and he couldn't tear his confused thoughts away from what had taken place."

Now the Olympus bit. Is this integral to the story? Is Tim some modern supporter of 2000/3000 year-old beliefs? Will this peculiarity of his affect his actions throughout the story? Does it drive his behaviour? If so, that's fine.

If not, then it fits into what's called "Author intrusion" i.e. the only point it serves is to illustrate that the Writer knows the history of the Olympian gods. If the reader doesn't, you've lost their attention.

However, there's also another problem: you said he was walking "the streets". Plural. Now you say that only AFTER he had been walking 3 blocks did he go from the street he was on to another: this means he wasn't, previously, "wandering the streets" but "wandering down a particular street" for 3 blocks. D'you see?

"Paranoia". You've previously said he was confused and chaotically thing about things that had happened. There's nothing in the least bit paranoid about that. It's a normal human reaction: something happens to us and we have to digest it, think about it, see how it fits into other parts of our life.

"His offering" - obviously referring to something that has already happened. If, however, it is merely said as having some sort of relevance to Olympus it's merely confusing, and has the Reader asking a whole lot of questions regarding it.

When we write we have to have someone else in our mind: the reader. We may have a large vocabulary, and have lots of knowledge - but we don't write to show this to people. We write to communicate with others...at a level they understand.

"Walking with lost eyes" is a good phrase. But it just doesn't fit in here. The points you made were that his mind was in chaos and his thoughts confused. So in fact he is engaged in deep contemplation - not 'lost' - which implies 'vacant' eyes?

This may all sound pretty harsh and as though I'm tearing up everything you wrote. I hope not. The intention was to use the few lines - out of the thousands I'm sure you've written your life - to illustrate a few points that will help in the future with your writing:

- Short sentences which make a particular point.
- Imagining who your readers are and writing for them.
- Not giving away your own thoughts or knowledge when you're writing for - and about - someone else.
- Careful choice of the words one uses as the BEST choice in particular sentences.
- Re-reading carefully to make sure that, though the scene is clear in one's own mind, it will be equally clear to the Reader.
- Even if one has thought of a great phrase, don't hesitate to cut it out if it doesn't fit.(This can be hard. But the perfect place will come up one day!)
- Cut out any detail that doesn't move the story forward.

Nikitus
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 12:32:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/17/2013
Posts: 363
Neurons: 1,764
Location: Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile
First of all, thanks for your help and time.


Romany wrote:
Nikitus: a few points which you may find useful to keep in mind.

The purpose of a sentence is to get a particular point across. Your first sentence deals with multiple points: It's his birthday. He's wandering aimlessly. He's disturbed by recent events. He is wearing his backpack & amulet. He walked 3 blocks. Do every one of those points deserve equal time and stress? Or are some of them just included for the same reason: to provide a picture of Tim, Consider: -

"On his birthday, Tim found himself aimlessly wandering the streets." The main point of the sentence is to show he was just wandering around with his mind elsewhere. I don't know if the fact that it was his birthday becomes important later on - so I used it to introduce the "aimless wanderings". If it never comes up again there's no point even mentioning it.


"Wandering the streets with lost eyes immersed in his chaotic and contradictory thoughts after the recent events, Tim walked with his backpack and amulet around his neck for three blocks; it was his birthday.

In previous parts of the story it is explained how is his transition towards this state of madness in which he lives in a reverie, in his own dream that he feels real.. In this madness, caused by an unscrupulous person who takes advantage of his mental state, he invents new rituals, associating the number of blocks he must walk with his birthday (that day was not his birthday)


This immediately makes the reader wonder "why" he's doing this:
"His mind was in turmoil over the recent events and he couldn't tear his confused thoughts away from what had taken place."


Previously it is explained that an unscrupulous man, with a group of people make him believe that he was visited by a ghost the night before.


Now the Olympus bit. Is this integral to the story? Is Tim some modern supporter of 2000/3000 year-old beliefs? Will this peculiarity of his affect his actions throughout the story? Does it drive his behaviour? If so, that's fine.


About Olympus it is related with the spirit of Athenea that visited him. A group of people lead by an uniscrupulous man, made him believe that he was visited by Athenea.

If not, then it fits into what's called "Author intrusion" i.e. the only point it serves is to illustrate that the Writer knows the history of the Olympian gods. If the reader doesn't, you've lost their attention.

The Olympus is related with the visit of "Athenea"

However, there's also another problem: you said he was walking "the streets". Plural. Now you say that only AFTER he had been walking 3 blocks did he go from the street he was on to another: this means he wasn't, previously, "wandering the streets" but "wandering down a particular street" for 3 blocks. D'you see?

He was walking for 10 minutes. Arbitrarily he decided to count 3 blocks as part of his new ritual

"Paranoia". You've previously said he was confused and chaotically thing about things that had happened. There's nothing in the least bit paranoid about that. It's a normal human reaction: something happens to us and we have to digest it, think about it, see how it fits into other parts of our life.


The paranoia is related with his mental state after the visit of the ghost

"His offering" - obviously referring to something that has already happened. If, however, it is merely said as having some sort of relevance to Olympus it's merely confusing, and has the Reader asking a whole lot of questions regarding it.

The offering is related to the visit of Athenea. She asked for the offerings


When we write we have to have someone else in our mind: the reader. We may have a large vocabulary, and have lots of knowledge - but we don't write to show this to people. We write to communicate with others...at a level they understand.


It is possible that my vocabulary in English is very limited. The opposite happens in Spanish, which is my native language. I agree that it is not necessary to use elaborate words, but I think that showing interesting elements in some parts is part of the charm or magic of a book (I consider a good book as an art form), or part of a style.

"Walking with lost eyes" is a good phrase. But it just doesn't fit in here. The points you made were that his mind was in chaos and his thoughts confused. So in fact he is engaged in deep contemplation - not 'lost' - which implies 'vacant' eyes?

He has a mixture of feelings and states within him, even some contradictory ones. The ghost is a catalyst for many of these, as it confronts demons from its past, but also seeks to be at peace, return to its safe area and many others.

This may all sound pretty harsh and as though I'm tearing up everything you wrote. I hope not. The intention was to use the few lines - out of the thousands I'm sure you've written your life - to illustrate a few points that will help in the future with your writing:

- Short sentences which make a particular point.
- Imagining who your readers are and writing for them.
- Not giving away your own thoughts or knowledge when you're writing for - and about - someone else.
- Careful choice of the words one uses as the BEST choice in particular sentences.
- Re-reading carefully to make sure that, though the scene is clear in one's own mind, it will be equally clear to the Reader.
- Even if one has thought of a great phrase, don't hesitate to cut it out if it doesn't fit.(This can be hard. But the perfect place will come up one day!)
- Cut out any detail that doesn't move the story forward.




I want to thank all the time you took to help me. I tried to answer each one to explain myself in a better way in relation to my initial consultation. I will read your comments again to improve my written English and my writing style.


Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 3:19:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,156
Neurons: 176,986
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Nikitus!

I wanted to make a general comment.

In another topic, I looked for advice from successful authors. Take a look at the articles I mentioned here.

Though you may not have known it, you ARE doing the first parts of what they say. Applause
You are writing, and writing, and writing - and writing some more.

To some extent, you are using this forum and its members as an "editorial team" - which is number three of Bob Heinlein's advice.

Some of Romany's advice also expands on the advice from Ursula Le Guin - about using the right phrase.

In my opinion (though I'm not a writer) you are doing the right things - carry on.

Then you will reach the next step "finish what you are writing" and then "put it on the market"!
And we'll all know that we know a famous author.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Nikitus
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 10:36:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/17/2013
Posts: 363
Neurons: 1,764
Location: Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Chile
Dear Drag0nspeaker:

Thanks for your thank you for your advice.

I think that at this point I am still trying to improve my grammar since I still make mistakes, which would deconcentrate the reader or make him fail to understand the idea that I intend to transmit (the reader may not like or care about the story but I feel that the reader could not even understand it to judge it if the grammar is a disaster).

That is why my intention is to ask is about the grammar but I always appreciate everybody opinion as editors or as readers.

I will read the links and I will read your advice since it is very important for me to keep improving.

Once again thanks for all your help and time.

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