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  1. #1
    Denis Bonner
    Guest

    A comprehension question

    In a book length manuscript I have recently finished there have been comments from other writers (not on this forum) about the clarity of the following passage. In this scene there is a computer, but it is a very strange one. One of the characters is looking at it:

    "There was also a constant small sound that was either a fan, or a pump. It had the constancy of a heartbeat. Ezzie knew which she thought it was. She was sure that thing didn't need a fan.

    "In any case inside that box, it wouldn't be a fan - it would be a propeller."

    Without quoting the comments, I wonder if anyone here has any difficulty in comprehension?

    Your comments much appreciated...



  2. #2
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    Yes. it is very difficult to understand, IMO.

    I don't think it's too bad when I, as a Reader, have to re-read a sentence/paragraph to try to undersand. But when I re-read it a second time--even going slower--and still don't understand, then I think it may be a problem. Then again, I could just be an idiot. Very possible...

  3. #3
    Denis Bonner
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    So Patrick which bit did you find hard?

  4. #4
    Rich L.
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    Dennis,

    I grasp that the point of the passage is that this computer has a sort of pump or heart instead of a fan, but I agree that point is not very clear. I'm not sure how the propeller sentence fits in.

    You might try reworking it.:

    Ezzie could hear a faint sound emanating from the box, a rythmic thumping that could have been a poorly working fan, but sounded more like a beating heart. She shuddered. She was sure the thing didn't need a fan.


    Anyway, just a suggestion.

  5. #5
    Denis Bonner
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    Sorry I should explain that the difficulty was the sentence about Ezzie:

    "Ezzie knew which she thought it was."

    Regardless of you understanding the rest - it would take a long time to explain the entire situation.

    So is this part at least clear?

  6. #6
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    Well, I did understand the first paragraph after re-reading it once, but then the propeller line did throw me some and I couldn't tell if you'd just took 2 excerpts and lined them up (like maybe there was a thought or something between the two. So maybe it's just the transition....

  7. #7
    author author
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    "There was also a constant small sound that was either a fan, or a pump. It had the constancy of a heartbeat. Ezzie knew which she thought it was. She was sure that thing didn't need a fan.

    "In any case inside that box, it wouldn't be a fan - it would be a propeller."


    Lose the references to fans and propellers.

    There was something wrong with the computer. Ezzie could hear a muffled thump-thump emanating from it. It sounded like a hearbeat.


    Hearts actually say lub-dup but thump-thump is close enough for a non-medical person.

  8. #8
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    I like that, author author. (IMO, though, I'd add some more flow to sentences. Less staccato)

  9. #9
    Simon Says
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    I comprehend - but me no likey. The first sentence in particular throws the whole thing off. "a constant small sound" is not a good or fluid description.

  10. #10
    Michelle Burtin
    Guest

    Re: A comprehension question

    What bothers me is that sentence:

    Ezzie knew which she thought it was.

    It doesn't sound correct to me. Either she knew or she thought. Or she thought she knew. But how could she know she thought?

    What do you guys think?

    Michelle

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