Author Topic: What sounds better?  (Read 4109 times)

Offline Lysianassa

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What sounds better?
« on: July 22, 2007, 11:29:33 AM »
Hi,

Could anyone tell me what sounds better -

A. His eyes could see nothing but darkness stretched out before him.
                     or
B. His eyes could see nothing but a black abyss threatening to consume him.


Thanks!
My head is longer my own - I am furious. When will my torment end?... If anybody is frustrated or unhappy in this lycee, it is me! They will make me lose my head  - Jean-Francois Champolloin

Offline Gyppo

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 02:46:23 PM »
I think we need some context to really answer this one.

If 'he' is looking for something hidden in the dark but not feeling particularly frightened by the circumstances then the first choice is probably most apt.

If 'he' is frightened by the dark itself - or whatever may be lurking in it - then the second one will definitely work best as the sentence encapsulates that message quite neatly.

Gyppo
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Offline thatollie

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 03:26:50 PM »
Ditch the beginning,
Darkness stretched out in front of him.
Sounds cool to me.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline Lysianassa

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2007, 05:09:50 AM »
Context - he's just been told that his fiancee and his soon-to-be father-in-law has murdered. I don't know about anyone else here but when I get mad - one of those horrible rages where you cannot recognise anything but that rage - all I see is blackness. So I'm having Jason see that too. I just didn't know what sounded better. Unfortunately I haven't been writing lately so I need to get back into the swing of things.
My head is longer my own - I am furious. When will my torment end?... If anybody is frustrated or unhappy in this lycee, it is me! They will make me lose my head  - Jean-Francois Champolloin

Offline c.higginson

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2007, 06:12:20 AM »
Not a famous literature guru, but, if he is in darkness because of emotions, I would probably not associate 'eyes' to this darkness.
It is not like darkness where he can see the darkness. It is the lack of anything. Darkness is still darkness.

I am in liking with the second (B.) option, with perhaps a few changes:

Quote
B. His eyes could see nothing but a black abyss threatening to consume him.

Quote
B. He could see nothing but a black void* threatening to consume him.

*I changed abyss to void, as an abyss is technically something, isn't it? while a void is the lack therewith.

You may want to take better advice than that from a teenager, or one that is a more 'memberish' member of this community.

c.

NB: Even take out the 'black' of 'black abyss/void'.
NB: Even more! You don't need threatening either. Well, I do not know Jason, but perhaps 'consuming'? I am havign seconds thoughts of this myself. So heed me not.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 06:14:22 AM by c.higginson »
Chris.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 06:17:02 AM »
Now we know the context the previous mail offers sound advice.  That kind of emotional and mental darkness is so much more impenetrable than a mere absence of light.

Gyppo
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Offline thatollie

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 07:43:20 AM »
I assume that the previous sentence is him finding out, then the sentence we're tweaking and then the narrative continues. Perhaps if you post the previous sentence we may have more perspective.
Never make a decision standing up.

German Voodoo

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 08:04:00 AM »
I don't like either, much.
Purple.

Offline Lysianassa

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2007, 09:38:43 AM »
Thanks, c.higginson, for your advice, it doesn't matter how old you are - I'm only in my early twenties so it doesn't matter how old you are.

The paragraph this sentance is in is below (thought it would be better to put the whole paragraph in instead of just the previous sentance):

He rested his head against the stone wall. The coldness made his head feel numb but Jason didnít care. All he felt was the anger threatening to spill out of his tense body and into the hot air where it would be directed at the first person he saw. Sharp breaths were the only sound his ears would recognise. His eyes could see nothing but ...
My head is longer my own - I am furious. When will my torment end?... If anybody is frustrated or unhappy in this lycee, it is me! They will make me lose my head  - Jean-Francois Champolloin

German Voodoo

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2007, 11:25:00 AM »
The first two sentences work.
The rest are too abstract, cheapjack purple.

Offline satellite

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2007, 01:53:36 PM »
A few things:

1. It's unnecessary to say "his eyes could see." Just "he could see" will do, since we assume he will be seeing with his eyes.

2. I think both original sentences are a bit... done? The idea of an abyss / darkness. Unless it is literally an abyss or darkness, you would probably be better off using another metaphor.

3. All he felt was the anger threatening to spill out of his tense body and into the hot air where it would be directed at the first person he saw.

is kind of messy because

a) too many adjectives - tense, hot, first. I would get rid of the first two. I do that a lot, where I feel like I need to describe every little thing, but it's actually better to leave it to the reader most of the time. They will fill in the blanks for you.

b) the idea of something spilling out and then being directed bothers me for some reason. I guess it's not outside the realm of possibility, but it sounds awkward to me.

Breathing sharply, Jason rested his head against the stone wall. He felt rage pushing against him from the inside, threatening to reach out and attack whomever was nearest. All around him he saw nothing but a (one or two significant adjectives) void.

is a little better maybe?
you're a ghost, la la la la la

Offline Lysianassa

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2007, 02:13:48 PM »
Definately sounds better, Satellite - but please note that this is the very first draft and the first time I've written anything in about 7 weeks due to medical reasons. Once I get back into the swing of things, hopefully (emphasis on hopefully) my writing should sound better.  ;D
My head is longer my own - I am furious. When will my torment end?... If anybody is frustrated or unhappy in this lycee, it is me! They will make me lose my head  - Jean-Francois Champolloin

Offline satellite

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2007, 02:24:26 PM »
Cool. :D I understand.
you're a ghost, la la la la la

Offline Symphony

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Re: What sounds better?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2007, 05:23:37 AM »
Hi there,

Haven't read the other posts so apols if it's a repetition - don't want ideas put into my head (I'll read them soon as I've posted) ...

My instinct tells me to ditch the 'His eyes could see nothing but' - immediately it's telly. Just show what's there ... a black abyss coming towards him or whatever.

Symphony