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message 1: by Kevis (last edited Oct 14, 2016 10:40AM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 130 comments Two things stand out from the very beginning of your excerpt:

1) You use far too many sentences with introductory phrases. It makes your sentences repetitive and read unnatural because of it. You need to vary your sentence structure to improve syntax and readability. If you don’t know what an introductory phrase/clause is, a quick Google search will help to explain it.

2) You’re putting the action before the subject (main object) of your sentence. That’s not how human beings use our senses. In many respects, we use our senses the same way most written languages, like English, are read from left to right. More often than not, first we engage our primary sense (sight), before engaging the other senses (hearing, smell, taste, and touch) usually in that order. So in your scene we should first see the subject or main object, then the action comes afterwards.

For example, you write: “Towards him, atop a monstrous bull, an ogre chieftain charges.”

It should read “An ogre chieftain charges him from atop a monstrous bull.” “Charge” already indicates forward movement, so there is no reason to use “Towards”. It simply adds unnecessary sensory information and makes your sentences clunky. My suggestion to you is to write your action beginning with the object the hero sees.

Here are a few more examples with the corrected sentences in parentheses:

1) Lowering a long spear, the holy warrior stares into a face of hate and tusks (The holy warrior lowers a long spear and stares…)

2) “Against them stand men and women” (“Men and women stand against them”)

3) Titanium fangs, dripping with liquid lust, prick the angel’s neck. (The angel’s neck is pricked by titanium fangs…)

4) Passing beneath a hissing mouth lined with the steel teeth of a portcullis, Sol lands among corpses entwined with the injured (AFTER passing beneath a hissing mouth…)

Intentional or not, you did get it right at times. Take this sentence for example: “Sol stoops beneath the arcing attack and hacks into his abdomen.” Sol is the subject so he comes first, then you give the action of him stooping. Perfect.

I don't know if English is your first language. But you may want to brush up on your English grammar, in particular Subject/predicate verb agreement and introductory phrases to get you through this hump.

Hope that helps.


message 2: by Kevis (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 130 comments Happy to help, Nicholas. Good luck!


message 3: by Lara (new)

Lara | 29 comments Kevis wrote: "Two things stand out from the very beginning of your excerpt:

1) You use far too many sentences with introductory phrases. It makes your sentences repetitive and read unnatural because of it. You ..."


Really enjoyed reading your tips, Kevis. You explain very clearly. Going to keep an eye out for these bad habits in my own writing!


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