The Solarised Night
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- Posted: Thu, 03 May 2012 01:56:22 +0000
There is a great deal of information to be taken in in the first few paragraphs. I like the detail you have put into describing the environment, but feel as though this could be worded in a way that could be more digestible. I loved that the piece opened with a smell. It gave a sensual layer right from the beginning. However, your sentences are quite wordy and long in this opening part. Often – where you have joined clauses through commas or semi-colons- you could have ended with a period to have a firm separate sentence. There is strength in brevity. Too much focus on the environment can also distract the reader from the action.
You fell for the mistake of putting comma’s where semi-colons or periods were needed a few times. It is a tricky one. Try and deconstruct your sentences to view the components separately. Ask yourself ‘does this part of the sentence make sense on its own?’ If you have two sections that could stand alone but you want them to relate to the same idea, try adding in a semi-colon. Lets look at this example (I’m just going to use one because I’ve been advised that too many examples can seem like an attack.)
A knock on the door made the man turn, and a nurse with a stethoscope walked in – another strong wave of antiseptics rushed into the room, it rested against the walls – keeping that sick smell enclosed in the small space they were in, when the nurse slightly turned to close the door.
There are a few ways you could do this. You could ditch the first comma, and convert it to a period (which would take out the ‘and’ and capitalise ‘a’). I would remove the first dash and replace it with a period, then change the comma after ‘room’ and turn it into a semi-colon. Instead of ‘keeping’ since it implies present tense, I’d change that to ‘and kept’ The last section is best to be a stand-alone sentence; when would be dropped, and ‘the’ would be capitalised.
A knock on the door made the man turn, and period A nurse with a stethoscope walked in – Another strong wave of antiseptics rushed into the room semi-colon it rested against the walls – keeping and kept that sick smell enclosed in the small space they were in period when The nurse slightly turned to close the door.
Just experiment and do a bit of reading about it.
Oh and don’t forget the serial comma; it is used before ‘and’ when you are listing things.
Vicks-vapo-rub; love it. I love fresh similes that are relatable. I think I actually used this one in one of my pieces recently.
I really like the theme you’ve gone with and it truly is a dramatic way to write about it. I think that the images in the dream sequence need to be a little clearer or graspable. If you spent a bit more time on each image or emotion before moving to the next, I think it would add a more dramatic build up. It wasn’t the way you described the images, but rather that everything was moving so quickly. It was something about the pace that made the images hard to stick in my mind.
That’s about it, I think. Well done.