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Thread: Long sentence

  1. #1
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    Long sentence

    Background: A married couple open a bedding store.The husband's artistic designs and his charming wife's selling ability cause business to prosper.
    Years pass. They are thinking of hiring a bookkeeper.

    Normally, I stay away from complex and/or compound sentences, but I sort of like this one. Is it overly awkward?

    But Louis’ bedding store had prospered and Bella—whose skillful urging of customers who intended only to refresh a featherbed ticking, assured that they did not leave before they placed an order for satin finery with which to dress their beds—spent most of her day in the store on the ground floor level of the three story building they had purchased years ago.



  2. #2
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    Re: Long sentence

    Hey Worm,

    I find the sentence cumbersome and can be trimmed and still give the same message. Things that stand out for me...

    Using ‘but’ to start your sentence isn’t very strong without context from the previous sentence.

    You can combine the first and last bits which allows you to infer things. For example instead of stating they bought the place 3-years ago you could say Bella's been managing the shop for 3-years.

    You also have a couple of 'telling' spots. They were "building" and "skilful urging' I addressed one in my rewrite.

    Words like that, they, than, and had can in many cases be removed.

    Here is my crack at it.

    Louis’ bedding store, tucked away on the ground floor of a three story Victorian Manor, prospered under Bella’s influence over the past three years. Her skilful urging turned customers from ‘just looking,’ into an order for satin linens.

    JMO. Hope it was helpful.

    DK

  3. #3
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    Re: Long sentence

    Yes, WHAT WAS I THINKING?


    I'm working more with something like below and will revise further.


    But Louis’ bedding store had prospered. Bella’s sales skills sabotaged customer’s intentions perhaps only to refresh a featherbed ticking. Often, they did not leave before placing an order for satin finery with which to dress their beds. Most days she stayed in the store on the ground floor of the three story building they had purchased years ago. Now, she wanted to spend more time as a mother and homemaker. So they asked Anna to relieve Bella of the burdensome bookkeeping she hated. Anna went to the store one or two days a week. She was conscientious and competent, but even so, Natan saw to it that Louis overpaid his daughter for the service she provided the small business.

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Re: Long sentence

    I don't think "sabotaged" is the right word. There's a whole lot of unnecessary language cluttering your meaning. Read it cut by 30%:

    Louis’s bedding store prospered with Bella’s sales skills, which often convinced customers to order satin finery rather than plain ticking. Most days, she worked in the ground floor store of the three story building they purchased years ago. But now, she coveted more time as a mother and homemaker. So they asked Anna to work one or two days a week to relieve Bella of the bookkeeping she hated. Though Anna was conscientious and competent, Natan still ensured Louis overpaid his daughter.

  5. #5
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    Re: Long sentence

    Bookworm, have you ever been in business? Have you ever been a bookkeeper?

    I would guess not since I have done both.

    Check with someone who has - if you are seeking realism.

    Then again maybe your potential readers are as ignorant of these things as you appear to be...

  6. #6
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Re: Long sentence

    I imagine you're talking about the "one or two days a week", because that's the only thing (indirectly) relevant to bookkeeping in there. Two full days for bookkeeping doesn't strike me as unreasonable, particularly for a small business. Beyond that, I don't know what you're talking about. It doesn't seem like the intricacies of bookkeeping are a major part of the story that warrants the kind of research you're recommending. But I could be wrong.

  7. #7
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    Re: Long sentence

    Two days a week to do bookkeeping for one bedding store is not unusual at all. I've done a lot of bookeeping and for a small business, that's not unusual. You don't need to do it every day.

  8. #8
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    Re: Long sentence

    Book Werm wrote;

    "But Louis’ bedding store had prospered. Bella’s sales skills sabotaged customer’s intentions perhaps only to refresh a featherbed ticking. Often, they did not leave before placing an order for satin finery with which to dress their beds. Most days she stayed in the store on the ground floor of the three story building they had purchased years ago. Now, she wanted to spend more time as a mother and homemaker. So they asked Anna to relieve Bella of the burdensome bookkeeping she hated. Anna went to the store one or two days a week. She was conscientious and competent, but even so, Natan saw to it that Louis overpaid his daughter for the service she provided the small business."

    Hey, Book Werm (long time

    For me, I feel as if your transitions (sentence-to-sentence) aren't smooth enough. It feels more like a list of actions/thoughts than a tale flow. Maybe toss in some semi-colons, ellipses, commas, or "and"s and "yet"s between sentences. (Biggest standout sentence is that "Anna went to the store one or two days a week." If you look at the sentence before and after, you'll see the transition going into and out of that sentence is awkward[ish].)

    Holla

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