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  1. #1
    A. L. Gerard
    Guest

    Correct punctuation, please

    I feel kind of moronic asking this, but could someone out there please tell me the correct way to punctuate this sentence? I'd like to put it in my query letter to an agent, but I just can’t get it to look right. Please advise.

    “It’s the story of an embittered immigrant, determined to grab his share of the American Dream, and the assortment of sinister characters who enter his life during the bitter winter of 1863.”

    Thanks for your assistance.



  2. #2
    Jane Newcomer
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please

    A.L. - Did not think it was the punctuation, thought it needed to be rephrased. For what it's worth, here's a suggestion.

    Itís the story of an embittered immigrant who is determined to grab his piece of the American Dream, and his encounters with an assortment of sinister characters during the harsh winter of 1863.

    Got rid of bitter. Too close to embittered.

  3. #3
    Murg
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please



    Itís the story of an embittered immigrant determined to grab his share of the American Dream and the assortment of sinister characters who enter his life during the bitter winter of 1863.

  4. #4
    Jack Jackson
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please

    I agree with Ms. Newcomer; it's best to not use embittered in the same sentence with bitter. Harsh is fine. Or maybe, cruel.
    Jack J

  5. #5
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please

    A.L: Your sentence is just fine, including the punctuation (and, I think, better than the alternatives suggested, by the way).

  6. #6
    Liz
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please

    Agree with Gary. I like the use of embittered, it tells us a lot in that short sentence. Just switch bitter winter to harsh or lengthy winter or something. Keep the protag adjective strong.

  7. #7
    Mary M.
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please

    I like Murg's rendering, but would replace "bitter" with "harsh," as suggested by another poster. Murg's sentence flows smoothly and is very visible.

  8. #8
    Goliardys
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please

    I think I know why this sentence doesn't sound quite right to you. Although the punctuation is perfectly correct, the following two phrases run together on the ear.

    "...determined to grab his share of the American Dream, and the assortment of sinister characters who enter his life...


    Goliardys

  9. #9
    A. L. Gerard
    Guest

    Re: Correct punctuation, please

    Thanks, everyone. Good catch on the "embittered" and "bitter". I'll change that. As for the (un)consensus of opinion on the comma usage and sentence structure, ain't the English language wonderful in its flexibility?

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