Jump to content

Fragments


Dalmania

Recommended Posts

Now I am wondering about long sentences.

The sentences are more fragments than long descriptions.

The author does write run-on sentences. Those are easy to "fix".

 

This is a what a sentence might look like:

 

The dog was trapped, no way out, surrounded.

 

NOT The dog was trapped and could see no way out.

The actual sentences are much longer than my imaginary example.

I would edit this to : The dog was trapped. It could see no way out.

 

If I started using a :...;...; format, it would wreck the message - the drama.

The whole story would be list after list.

 

I would like to just leave it.

 

 

I would really appreciate other's opinions.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
The dog was trapped, no way out, surrounded.
I agree, this is too broken up.

 

I would edit this to : The dog was trapped. It could see no way out. If I started using a :...;...; format, it would wreck the message - the drama.

With this I can see a couple of ways to to go with it. With a comma, The dog was trapped, it could see no way out. And since grammar check may bring up a comma issue with it, I would then suggest using the semi-colon in place of the comma. The dog was trapped; it could see no way out.

 

The use of the semi-colon tie's two complete sentences together.

Link to comment
  • Site Administrator

I'm not an editor, so I'm going to respond as a pure reader.

 

The original, while grammatically awkward, portrays a sense of drama that the editted versions suggested do not.

 

I'd hazard a guess and say that the author started with writing poetry and not prose, because that sample reads more poetically.

 

Where it gets difficult is if the entire piece is like this. You are implying it is. In that case I would review it as a whole and ask if the style of writing "works" or not. If it is distracting from the story, then I'd suggest changing it. If it "fits", then it means the author has a different style to the norm, and that's all.

 

There are many printed novels that don't fit standard grammar rules. They usually stand out from the crowd BECAUSE they are different, and if they are good stories, too, they often appear on review lists and gather their own collection of fans.

 

My recommendation (and it's only a suggestion) is to NOT force the author into a regular grammatical format unless the style makes the story too hard to read.

 

It may be that two or three other opinions are needed. Try suggesting to the author to take advantage of the beta-reader program here and get more reader opinions on the style. I would had to stifle a new innovation just because it doesn't fit the "norm".

Link to comment
This is a what a sentence might look like:

 

The dog was trapped, no way out, surrounded.

 

NOT The dog was trapped and could see no way out.

The actual sentences are much longer than my imaginary example.

I would edit this to : The dog was trapped. It could see no way out.

 

If I started using a :...;...; format, it would wreck the message - the drama.

The whole story would be list after list.

 

I would like to just leave it.

Everyone's made some good points here, and I agree with Birds that you should be careful about style. If the entire piece is exemplified by this type of writing, it may cause some readability issues.

 

Umm...and going along a bit with Graeme's idea... if this is part of an action sequence, it actually would read quite well. I'm sure everyone is aware that there are times and situations where writers WILL break golden rules in order to emphasize a particular type of impact.

 

To make it even stronger, I'd even go so far as to suggest using periods instead of commas. Make it into two fragments. The dog was trapped. No way out. Surrounded. Less wishy washy, and stronger than making it grammatically correct. Of course, like I mentioned earlier, if the entire piece is written like this, that may be an unrealistic solution.

Link to comment
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..