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Thread: Sentence Help

  1. #1
    Ord Retniap
    Guest

    Sentence Help

    Right, I've re-read this sentence so many times that it looks like pure gobbledegook. I've lost my perspective completely, so could you tell me if it's grammatically correct? I'm perfectly happy with it otherwise, but if there's an error I'll obviously have to change it.

    Isabelle's branch was the best. It was long, supple and ended in a twisted point shaped like a corkscrew.

    The second sentence is the one I'm concerned about - I just included the first so you'd know what the hey I was talking about. It's the switch between "was" and "ended" as my active verb that's worrying me. Is it okay to change verbs like that without repeating the "it"?



  2. #2
    Chuck Shaw
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    OR
    I don't have a problem with it. My Opinion-Loose the "shaped" would be an improvement.

    A purist would say either "twisted point" or "point like a corkscrew", but that both were redundant. If you needed to cut word count or tighten up the scene, it would be worth looking at.

    I am told that a lot of the industry has gone to "serial commas" where "A, D and F" are written "A, D, and F", but I learned grammar the same way you did.

    CS

  3. #3
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    It was long, supple, and ended in a point twisted like a corkscrew.

  4. #4
    Janice W-D
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    Ord wrote:
    It was long, supple and ended in a twisted point shaped like a corkscrew.

    It was long and supple, ending in a twisted point shaped like a corkscrew.

    Long and supple, it ended in a twisted point shaped like a corkscrew.

    Chuck wrote:
    My Opinion-Loose the "shaped" would be an improvement.

    A purist would say either "twisted point" or "point like a corkscrew", but that both were redundant.


    Long and supple, it ended in a twisted point, like a corkscrew.

    Long and supple, it ended in a twisted point resembling a corkscrew.

    Best,
    Janice

  5. #5
    D K
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    Maybe this?

    Isabelle's branch was the best: long, supple, with a corkscrew point.

  6. #6
    Josh Lemay
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    I like how DK did it, but I'd switch it slightly.

    "Isabelle's branch was the best: long and supple, ending in a corkscrew point."

  7. #7
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    Do you really need that much description of a branch?

  8. #8
    Beautiful Loser
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help




    The tip of Isabelle's branch was twisted.

  9. #9
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    Isabelle's branch was the best. It was long, supple and ended in a twisted point shaped like a corkscrew.

    The grammatical problems here isn't in the "it"; it's that you have a series of three--"long, supple and ended in a twisted point"--that isn't parallel. You have two adjectives and then a clause.

    To make what you have grammatically correct, it should be "It was long and supple and ended in a twisted point shaped like a corkscrew." This takes the two adjectives away from the different construction of the clause.

    It that doesn't float your boat, you'll need to rewrite the sentence.

    Chuck's right that if it had been a parallel series of three (which it isn't), the publishing industry would put a comma in front of the "and." Publishing uses the serial comma.

  10. #10
    Chuck Shaw
    Guest

    Re: Sentence Help

    Gary

    I knew there was something iffy about the construction at the end of the sentence. I looked at it for ten minutes and still couldn't pin it down.

    Thanks for showing me (again) how much I don't know.

    YOU DA MAN

    CS

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